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Pioneers softball takes thrilling victory over Silver Streaks
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PREP SOFTBALL | ALLEMAN 6, GALESBURG 5

Pioneers softball takes thrilling victory over Silver Streaks

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Alleman produced just enough offense to get the job done against Galesburg on Tuesday night in Western Big 6 action.

The Pioneers took a 6-5 win over the Silver Streaks and moved to 2-12 overall and 2-10 in the conference. Galesburg dropped to 5-13 overall and 3-9 in the conference. 

In the bottom of the first, Ainsley Herd scored on a Brooke Cunningham single to put the Pioneers up 1-0. Kiley McConville scored on the next play on a throwing error by the Galesburg catcher to put Alleman up two early in the game. 

The next scoring happened in the fifth inning as Galesburg took the lead with one swing from Makayla Huff as her three-run home run staked the Streaks to a 3-2 lead. Hannah Dillbeck then scored on a double from Casey Folger to make it 4-2.

In the bottom of the inning, McConville scored on a double from Avrie Schmidt to pull the Pioneers within one. Then the big blast came from Kinzie Johnson as her three-run home run scored Amelia Murga-Baker and Schmidt to make it 6-4 Alleman.

Galesburg pulled within one in the top of the seventh, but the Pioneers got out of the inning to earn the win.

Johnson said her game-winning homer wouldn't have mattered had her teammates not gotten on base ahead of her.

"I have a lot of trust in my teammates to go out there and do their jobs," Johnson said. "It's hard to do sometimes, but I trust everyone as much as possible."

Alleman coach Mike Ebner is proud of how Johnson came through despite having some struggles earlier in the game.

"She would be the first to tell you that she didn't look good early," Ebner said. "That home run doesn't mean as much without those girls getting on base either, so credit to them. Kinzie learned that all it takes is that one pitch to get things done."

The Pioneers only gave up seven hits in the game and committed just one error, something that Ebner is happy with and sees as an improvement his team has made. 

"We've been working a lot on our defense lately," Ebner said. "That hasn't been our strong suit this season, but tonight our girls scored well early and kept fighting when they were behind."

With a strange start to the season waiting on the "fall" sports to finish, Ebner hopes that his team can continue to improve and try to make a run in the postseason.

"It was a really strange start to the season, with girls out for other sports and COVID situations along with injuries," Ebner said. "We're close to full strength now and our girls will keep working hard and get a lot better."

Johnson is playing in her first varsity season for the Pioneers after her sophomore campaign was canceled because of the COVID-19 restrictions in the spring of last year.

"It's been really stressful and some of us aren't used to the competition," Johnson said. "I hope everyone including myself can improve from the experience and start stronger next season."

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