Courier sports staff
CULLMAN, Ala. —
Finally after one week, the Indian Hills softball squad got their season under way Friday in Alabama. After getting off to a winning start with a 5-1 victory over Calhoun, the Warriors fell twice to close out their first day at the Wallace State JUCO Invitational.
IHCC lost a back-and-forth contest with Alabama Southern in their second game of the day as a four-run third inning made the difference in a 7-3 loss for the Warriors. Third-ranked Wallace State then handed Indian Hills a second setback, scoring five runs in the first inning on the way to an 8-0 win in five innings.
“That’s probably one of the best starts I’ve had from any team,” Indian Hills head coach Jim Overturf said of the Warriors opening-game victory over Calhoun. “I don’t know if they thought it was too easy, because we didn’t play quite as well in the next two games.”
Game one featured powerful hitting from sophomore outfielder Felisha Durflinger and powerful pitching by freshman Kendie Schieber.
Durflinger collected a pair of hits, both of which left the park as the former Cardinal star drilled two of the Warriors first three home runs of the season while driving in four of IHCC’s first five runs.
The Warriors got off to a very hot hitting start in their opening game. Eight different players contributed to the 10-hit attack for IHCC with Durflinger, Hiliary Pennington and Olivia Starcevich all collecting a pair of hits in the opener.
Scheiber, meanwhile, shut down Calhoun in the pitching circle. The Conception Junction, Mo., native tossed a two-hitter while striking out 12 batters to pick up the Warriors’ first pitching win.
Scheiber also threw four innings of relief in the Warriors second game on Friday, striking out three more batters. Alabama Southern, however, struck with four runs in the third inning before Scheiber entered to erase a 3-2 lead IHCC took with three runs in the bottom of the second.
“We should have played a lot better,” Overturf said. “There were things we did well, but there were definitely some things we needed to do a better job of executing.”
Pennington and Starcevich added two hits with Starcevich coming up with a double and a run in the game-two loss. IHCC found no answers in the final game of the day for Wallace State sophomore ace Lindsey Defee, who shut down the Warriors with a two-hit shutout that featured six strikeouts.
Indian Hills (1-2) will play two more games today in the Wallace State JUCO Invite. Before sticking around Wallace State to face the third-ranked Lady Lions in a doubleheader on Tuesday, the Warriors will look to for a winning tournament run with games at 10 a.m. this morning against Central Alabama and at Noon against Snead State.
“We need to gain some momentum going into that Tuesday doubleheader,” Overturf said.
Wallace State JUCO Invitational
Indian Hills 5, Calhoun 1
Cal. 000 001 0 — 1 2 0
IHCC 011 030 x — 5 10 0
Indian Hills battery — Kendie Schieber (W, 1-0) (6IP, 2H, R, ER, 12K, BB), Kaylyn Decock and Katie Walsh catching.
HR — Felisha Durflinger 2, Cheyenne Ellis.
Hits — Durflinger 2-3, Hiliary Pennington 2-3, Olivia Starcevich 2-4, Ellis 1-2, Carrie Hudson 1-2, Kaitlyn Matzen 1-3, Laci Moore 1-3.
RBI — Durflinger 4, Ellis.
Runs — Durflinger 2, Ellis, Pennington, Starcevich.
Alabama Southern 7, Indian Hills 3
A.S. 204 000 1 — 7 7 1
IHCC 030 000 0 — 3 7 2
Indian Hills battery — Mackenzie Haight (L, 0-1) (3IP, 6H, 6R, 2ER, 3K, 4BB) and Schieber (4IP, H, 3K), Decock and Walsh catching.
2B — Starcevich.
Hits — Pennington 2-3, Starcevich 2-3, Hudson 1-3, Jaylinn Tresslar 1-3, Durflinger 1-4.
Runs — Hudson, Starcevich, Tresslar.
No. 3 (DI) Wallace State 8, Indian Hills 0 (5)
IHCC 000 00 — 0 3 2
WSCC 502 01 — 8 4 0
Indian Hills battery — Courtney Collins (L, 0-1) (5IP, 4H, 8R, 8ER, 4BB), Decock catching.
Hits — Collins 1-2, Kaylyn Decock 1-2, Starcevich 1-3.