BY RICH HULL O'FALLON WEEKLY SPORTS
The Lady Panther’s celebrated Senior night by beating visiting Edwardsville 11 – 8 in front a large crowd. It was the Tigers’ first conference loss in 31 games dating back to 2014. The win improved the Lady Panthers’ record to 18 – 7 overall, and 10 – 3 in the SWC.
O’Fallon scored two in the first inning on a home run by Senior pitcher and SEMO commit Addison Barnouski. They pushed two more across in the second to take an early 4 – 0 lead.
They saw their lead grow in the fourth inning. They scored five runs on six hits and excellent base running. They took a 9 – 1 lead into the fifth inning, needing just two more to end the game early. The Tigers’ pitcher shut them down, however, and the game would continue.
Edwardsville made the game interesting with a six run sixth. They had three across already and two on base with two outs, when Jordan Corby sent a pitch over the left field fence for three more.
The Lady Panthers added two insurance runs in their half of the sixth to make the score 11 – 7. The Tigers answered in the top of the seventh pushing a run across on a pair of singles and double in between. They were able to load the bases against Barnouski with two outs. She got the final out on a short fly to second.
O’Fallon was hoping to take that momentum with them as they headed to neighboring Belleville West in their final game before the state playoffs begin. They came up short against the host Maroons, 5 – 7 and finished tied with Alton for second with a 10 – 4 record.
The Lady Panthers begin their playoff run at Collinsville on Tuesday May 24 where they will play these same Maroons.