EAST PEORIA, Ill. — The Morrison Fillies made a strong statement at the Illinois High School Class A State Softball Tournament Friday, beating Downs Tri-Valley 7-1 in the first round.

The first inning might have established the momentum for the game.

The first two batters for Downs struck out. The next hitter for Downs walked, immediately stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error.

The next hitter laced a line drive to right field, but Morrison right fielder Kyla Renkes fielded the one-hop line drive and threw the batter out at first base, saving the run.

“That was awesome ... monstrous,” commented Fillie pitcher Ashlie Patten. “It got us out of the inning, changed the momentum and really pumped us up”.

A pumped-up Morrison team scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Haley Hall reached on an error, Abby Vock walked and Patten ripped a double to score two runs.

Katie Tenboer would follow with a sharp single to right field to score Patten.

Morrison scored two more runs in the bottom of the third inning and that would be more than enough for Patten, who had a sacrifice fly in the frame.

The Fillie starter allowed only three hits in the game, striking out 10 and walking four.

In the bottom of the sixth, Fillie center fielder Rachel Ward sealed the deal with a two-run homer.

Asked if that was her first home run, Ward replied, “No, but the other one was an inside the parker.”

The speedy center fielder went on to comment, “We wanted to add insurance runs and keep the pressure on them.”

Tri-Valley, which scored a solo run in the sixth inning, went down in the seventh without scoring to secure Morrison’s win.

The Fillies will play traditional powerhouse Beecher at 10 a.m. today in the semifinals.

Beecher, a 5-1 winner over Carterville Friday, was the state champ in 2004 and qualifier in 2005.

Score by Innings

Tri-Valley 000 001 0 —1 3 6

Morrison 302 002 x —7 7 1

T. Hinthorne and Sanidas. Ashlie Patten and Kerrie Tenboer.

Two or more hits—Morrison, Ward, Vock. 2B—Morrison, Patten. HR—Morrison, Ward. RBI—Tri-Valley, Fogel; Morrison, Ward 2, Patten 3.