Robinson leads Bombers to one-run victory over Hornets in season opener


MACOMB, Ill. — A state-ranked showdown to open the prep softball season came down to the final at-bat just like everyone hoped it would.

Macomb’s Kaitlyn Robinson scored the tying run in the bottom of the sixth inning and then worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning to preserve a 4-3 victory over Brown County. The Bombers were ranked 18th in the Illinois Coaches Association Class 2A preseason poll, while the Hornets were ninth in the Class 1A poll.

Brown County, which won 29 games and a regional championship a year ago, tagged Robinson for three runs in the top of the first inning. Katey Flynn led off the game with a home run to center field. One out later, Ashlee Markert singled and Cyrah Dunlap followed with a double to put runners at second and third.

An infield popup forced both runners to hold, but Taryn Moorman reached on a dropped third strike, which allowed Markert to score. Dunlap scored on Melanie Loehr’s single to left field to make it 3-0 before the Bombers came to bat.

Macomb answered with a run in the bottom of the first as Sarah Stufflebeam doubled with one out and Robinson drove her in with a two-out single. The Bombers tacked on another run in the fourth as a lead-off error, a sacrifice bunt and Zoey Wagoner singled to right field plated Allison Stortzum.

Both teams stranded a runner in the fifth, and Robinson set the Hornets down in order in the sixth. In the bottom of the sixth, Robinson led off with a single, Stortzum walked and Kennedy Allensworth moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.

After a popout to the catcher and a walk, Flynn committed an error at shortstop, allowing two runs to score before Moorman got a flyout to center field to end the inning. Robinson got two groundouts and a strikeout in the top of the seventh.

Robinson and Wagoner each had two of the Bombers’ six hits, while Robinson struck out seven and walked none. Dunlap had two of the Hornets’s six hits, while Moorman struck out one, walked three and allowed just one earned run.

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