PROPHETSTOWN, Ill. — Fulton and Erie/Prophetstown are looking to take down Morrison, the favorite in Three Rivers Conference softball. Before the Steamers or the Panthers worry about that, however, E/P won 13-3 on a windy Monday in the conference opener for both teams.
The Panthers didn't have to do much hitting in their big inning, the third. Five runs crossed the plate via a Savannah Mettler two-run double, a passed ball, a hit by pitch and a wild pitch.
Then, in the fifth inning, the Panthers added four more runs, highlighted by a Kylie Ackerman double that scored Laykin Miner and Stephanie Thulen.
E/P put up 12 hits against the Steamers, including three each from Ackerman and Miner, while Mettler and Emily Cox each had two hits.
Cox and Ackerman recorded four RBIs; Miner, Cox and Thulen each had three runs.
Chelsea Liesnewski picked up the loss for the Steamers, allowing 13 runs in the first five innings while punching out five hitters and walking a half dozen.
Before the two big rallies by the Panthers, Fulton tried to make its stand early.
Fulton chipped its deficit to 5-3 in the top of the fourth when recent Lakeland College signee Jenna Jones hit an RBI single, followed by a two-run single from Liesnewski.
Liesnewski led the Steamers with two RBIs, while Jones had two of the four Fulton hits.
Fulton on the rebound
Fulton coach Jessie Rosenow believes once the ball starts rolling, good fortune will come the Steamers' way.
"Our upperclassmen have got to want it," Rosenow said. "They're striving to want it, want it, want it, and we're doing a lot of team bonding, and they're starting to realize how bad they're going to have to work and want it."
One thing that the Steamers have going for them is the amount of leadership Rosenow thinks they have.