The Collinsville softball team took advantage of an overmatched East St. Louis squad to record 28-1 and 19-7 victories Thursday evening at the Collinsville Jaycees Sports Complex.
East St. Louis was at such an obvious disadvantage throughout day that Collinsville took 14 intentional outs by leaving a base before the pitcher released the ball on a pitch.
Playing as the visiting team in game 1, which was a make up a rain out in East St. Louis earlier this season, the Kahoks (14-13, 3-8 Southwestern Conference) scored 12 runs before the Flyers (0-10) came up to bat. The Flyers scored their third run of the year in the first inning of game one after drawing a lead-off walk, stealing two bases and coming home when the throw to third sailed into left field. East St. Louis sent three hitters to the plate each inning the remainder of game one.
Kassidy Smith found a way to stand out in a sea of 28 runs when she hit two home runs to tie the school’s career home run mark (15) held by Hailey Jones, who graduated in 2012. The home runs extended her single-season record to 12.
Smith’s first home run left the park so fast the echo of the bat was still fresh in the air when the ball rocketed over the left-center field fence. The ball took longer to leave the park on Smith’s record-tying home run because it had a small arc as it smashed high off the shed about 20 feet beyond the left field fence.
East St. Louis Head Coach Antonio Mattox was impressed by Smith’s potential.
“She has two years left,” Mattox said of the sophomore catcher. “That’s dangerous.”
The Flyers scored seven runs in the second game of the doubleheader, more than double their entire season output.
The Kahoks forced East St. Louis to change pitchers in the second game, something Mattox wanted to avoid.
“I don’t have another pitcher,” Mattox said between games. “I don’t want to forfeit, but if I think I’m going to hurt my pitcher, I will.”
Following an estimated 400 pitches on the day, Mattox removed his starting pitcher and had a long discussion with Collinsville Head Coach Cindy Kolda and the home plate umpire. Asked to continue so the statistics would count, Mattox brought his third baseman to the mound.
“My kids should get the same at bats as every other conference team,” Kolda said.
As the new pitcher prepared to warm up, an assistant coach was instructing her how to throw a pitch. The first two attempts bounced about halfway to home plate. The third sailed high over the catcher’s head.
Mattox said she had never pitched in a game.
“She’s messed around in practice, but she’s a senior and she likes it,” Mattox said.
When the game resumed her first pitch bounced on the way home and hit Smith. The second pitch also bounced to the plate, before hitting Sarah Scrum. However, Smith had intentionally left first base before the pitch was delivered to record the final out of the third inning.
Collinsville scored eight runs in the fourth inning, only recording outs when they intentionally left base early with a 19-7 lead.
Kolda said her team attempted to create outs in multiple ways against an East St. Louis team whose players had never played softball before joining the high school team.
“It’s a little bit of compassion. There is no good way to do it,” Kolda said. “We talked about trying to stretch a base hit into a double, where their testing their legs at the same time. So what if we get thrown out at second.”
Collinsville hosts Roxana for a doubleheader Saturday. First pitch is at 10 a.m.