KEWANEE — Early and often was a motto the Princeton Tigresses had against Kewanee as they pounced all over the Boiler Girls scoring in every inning but the sixth to take an 11-1 victory Tuesday in Kewanee.
Maybe it was the old white uniforms that coach Bob James broke out of the closet that proved to be lucky. James was just happy to get the win.
“We’re happy to get back on the right side of things, getting the W is good. We’ve definitely had our trying times and have struggled so it’s good to click a little bit,” James said. “We broke out the old uniforms today for a little change, I wanted a little bit of a different feel so maybe the old uniforms helped us out a little bit, we may keep them going into regionals, we’ll see what they feel like.”
Strong pitching by starting pitcher Madison Manzel along with timely hitting by the Tigresses proved to be too much for the Boiler Girls to handle, as the Tigresses’ were relentless throughout the game taking advantage of every Kewanee miscue.
“We had some people in different positions today so it was a fresh look. It was good for Madison to throw strikes and get ahead in counts and depend on her defense when she needs to,” James said.
The Tigresses got on the board in the first inning, taking advantage of early miscues by Kewanee. Third baseman Elizabeth Hendrix reached on an error and eventually scored on a wild pitch by Kewanee pitcher Paige Reeser to take a 1-0 lead.
Another misstep by the Boiler defense led to three Tigress runs in the second inning as second baseman Jaimee Cieselski hit a ground ball in the infield and first baseman Katie Blume couldn’t handle a throw allowing Julia Bauer to score.
Cieselski came around to score on a Hendrix single later in the inning. Hendrix would also score, giving the Tigresses a 4-0 advantage after two innings.
Princeton’s big inning came in the fifth as singles by center fielder Danielle Hughes, right fielder Alisa Holmbeck, first baseman Courtney Oeder and left fielder Devin Truedson resulted in four runs to extend their lead making the score 9-0.
Catcher Abby Jaques added an explanation point at the end of the game when she stepped to the plate with a runner on and blasted a 2-0 pitch from Reeser over the left field fence to end the scoring and give Princeton an 11-1 victory.
Menzel came out with a strong performance, striking out 10 while walking four over a magnificent complete game three-hit performance.
“She’s really been pressing and the biggest thing for her is to get back to having fun with the game because she has been pressing so much she hasn’t been having fun. So the smile on her and the other girls’ faces is refreshing to see and that’s what we need for regional time,” James said.
The Tigresses’ defense only allowed one runner to advance past second base on an RBI single by Reeser.
“If we can get Madison back to her being herself during regional time, we can compete with anybody there. The keys for us are having her there, situational hitting, execution on some small ball and if we have that we have an opportunity to play real well at regionals,” James said.
• PHS returns home Thursday to host the Hall Lady Devils in Three Rivers South action at Little Siberia.
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