MAHOMET — Last season, Mahomet-Seymour softball wasn’t ever challenged and crushed Champaign Centennial 14-1.
But results from last year don’t matter at all, and the Bulldogs were nipped by Centennial on Monday 3-1 thanks to two runs in the seventh inning by the Chargers.
“I think we were looking for an easy win,” M-S head coach Lisa Ayers said. “They kinda thought that would be the same way because of the past. The past plays a big part of this. We always talk about how you can’t use what they’ve done against us, and dictate how you’re going to mentally approach this game. They let the past mentally approach today’s game.”
Sophomore Aubrie Shore shut down Centennial all night long, allowing just seven hits and striking out 11. But the Chargers scraped across the run in the fourth inning as Leah Luchinski walked and scored on an error by M-S first baseman Abigail Akers.
The offense never came.
In the top of the seventh, Centennial had two runners on with two outs. Meagan Klyss came up with her fourth hit of the day, this time shooting the ball right over the top of Akers’ glove down the right field line. A second run scored on the play when McNaught’s throw to third base got away from Wheeler and trickled into the outfield.
“We have to have mental toughness,” Ayers said. “That last inning, a lot of the errors spiraled from the ‘Oh shoot ... this is a team that we probably should be beating.’ Then, we shoot ourselves in the foot because of a lack of mental toughness.”
M-S needed two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but Shore’s two-out double off the wall was the only offense the Bulldogs could muster, and Centennial mobbed Long after Wheeler popped out to end the game.
Campbell finished with two hits. Shore, Wheeler, McNaught and Akers each had one. Shore took the tough-luck loss despite allowing just one earned run in seven innings as M-S dropped to 7-4 overall.
Effingham 4, M-S 1. M-S mustered just three singles as Effingham took Game 1 of an Apollo Conference doubleheader on Saturday. McNaught, Karley Yergler and Allie Nofziger all singled. Yergler drove in Nofziger in the first inning.
Yergler limited Effingham to four hits and four runs over six innings. Only two runs were earned; the freshman struck out eight.
M-S 3, Effingham 1. Wheeler cranked a solo home run and McNaught and Emma Clements both had two hits to back Shore, who threw a masterful seven innings, as the Bulldogs earned a split. Shore allowed just five hits and one run. She fanned seven and walked none.