Lowe’s one-hitter features 17 strikeouts, Winchell doubles twice as Wolves pick up pair of victories


Pleasant Hill senior pitcher McKinley Lowe struck out 17 while throwing a one-hitter Saturday against Jerseyville. | Matt Schuckman photo

PIASA, Ill. — The Jerseyville softball players may have thought they’d have a chance to catch up to Pleasant Hill right-hander McKinley Lowe after Anna Kribs fouled off a pair of two-strike pitches before getting a single to left field with one out in the first inning.

No one else made contact.

Lowe orchestrated a one-hit shutout, leading the Wolves to a 2-0 victory in the first of two games Saturday. Pleasant Hill made it a sweep, beating Piasa Southwestern 10-9.

After the second batter in the second inning reached on an error, Lowe retired 17 consecutive batters, including striking out seven of the final eight she faced. The senior struck out 17 and walked none.

The Wolves backed her with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

In the fourth, Ava Wombles gave Pleasant Hill the lead with a one-out solo home run. In the fifth, Emma Henderson singled with one out and Kaitlyn Borrowman followed by reaching on an error. Jade Peebles singled to center field to drive in Henderson to make it 2-0.

Wombles finished with two of Pleasant Hill’s seven hits.

Against Southwestern, the Wolves trailed 9-8 going to the seventh inning before Makenna Winchell got a rally started with a one-out double to left field. Maddison Daniels singled to center field to put runners at the corners, and after Daniels went to second on defensive indifference, Henderson grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Winchell.

Daniels was safe at third on the play, which allowed Borrowman to hit a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in the go-ahead run.

Lowe, who had come on in relief in the fourth inning, struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh to preserve the victory.

Winchell went 3 for 4 with two doubles and two RBIs, while Lowe went 2 for 4 with a double, a home run and four RBIs. Wombles and Henderson each had two hits.

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