Last month, when Moline made its run to the Illinois Class 3A state softball tournament, Preston pitcher Kelcie Bormann was there to support several of her friends — teammates with Bormann on the Quad City Firebirds during the summer months.
Tuesday afternoon at Assumption High School, the Maroons returned the favor, painting themselves black, posting “K’s” on the bleacher railings every time Bormann sent an Assumption hitter back to the dugout with a strikeout and even doing the wave at one point on behalf of Preston.
And their teammate didn’t disappoint inside the circle, matching host Alyson Spinas-Valainis nearly strikeout for strikeout. But Bormann also succeeded at the plate, getting four hits in the doubleheader, with both of her first-game hits instrumental in the Lady Trojans’ 2-0 first-game victory over the Knights. Assumption bounced back to win Game 2 6-0.
“They’re a great group of girls; they’re always there for me,” Bormann said of her Preston-fans-for-a-day ASA teammates. “It was nice to have them. They really helped, and I enjoyed it. It was good to face another good team like Assumption. There are good teams in our conference, but we don’t always face them all the time.”
Bormann got things started with the bat right away, doubling in the first inning. She advanced to third on a passed ball and then scored on a Megan Zeimet sacrifice fly to make it 1-0. Preston (22-2), ranked seventh in Class 1A’s most recent poll, went up 2-0 in the third when Larissa Ruchotzke walked, moved up a couple of bases on Bormann’s second hit of the game and later scored.
“It’s fun to play teams like them,” Preston coach Sarah Manning said. “You don’t see a Davenport Assumption every day. They’re a good team.”
Bormann scattered a few singles in the game but struck out 10 batters, keeping her Firebirds teammates busy with the decoration. Assumption (8-11) got two runners in both the second and third innings, but that was thr most serious its threat in the first game would get.
“It was just another game,” Bormann said of facing one of the bigger schools on Preston’s schedule. “I was excited, but it was just another game.”
In the second game, early wildness from pitcher Lizzie Meier and some poor fielding decisions — present during the first game too, but not to a damaging level — plagued Preston early. The Lady Trojans committed five errors, which led to six unearned runs.
Meier lasted just the first inning, getting help on an unusual double play. Spinas-Valainis lofted a fly ball to right with the bases loaded. Nicole Trenkamp appeared to have the ball and then dropped it, but then threw a strike home to force Assumption’s Abbey Strajack for the first out. Spinas-Valainis, assuming the fly-ball out, had turned and gone back to the dugout and was doubled off at first.
Bormann returned to the circle to pitch the rest of the way and allowed just a walk and four hits in five innings in her second stint, striking out six.
“I’ve come in before, and I’m used to pitching a lot,” Bormann said. “It was hot and it was different, but otherwise it wasn’t big of a deal.”
But Preston’s bats fell silent against the consistency of Spinas-Valainis, who struck out 24 — 12 in each game — for the doubleheader, without allowing a walk in the second game. Other than singles from Bormann in the first and sixth innings, and a base hit from Alicia Lane in the second, she was in complete control.
“Errors and not hitting the ball, that just killed us in the second game,” Manning said. “She’s a good pitcher. We’re going to face pitchers like that from here on out. We should be ready now for the rest of the season. We learn more from our losses, that’s the way I look at it. When you get down 3-0 and 6-0, that shows you what you have to do to try to come back in a game.”
PRESTON 2, DAVENPORT ASSUMPTION 0
Preston 101 000 0 — 2 3 3
Assumption 000 000 0 — 0 6 2
Kelcie Bormann (7 ip, 6 h, 0 r, 1 bb, 10 so) and Megan Zeimet; Alyson Spinas-Valainis (7 ip, 3 h, 2 r, 2 er, 2 bb, 12 so) and Krysta Tutsch. WP — Bormann. LP — Spinas-Valainis. Multiple hits — Preston (Bormann 2), Assumption (Ellen Conklin 2). 2B — Preston (Bormann, Zeimet), Assumption (Abbey Strajack). RBI — Preston (Zeimet).
ASSUMPTION 6, PRESTON 0
Preston 000 000 0 — 0 6 5
Assumption 302 100 x — 6 5 0
Lizzie Meier (1 ip, 1 h, 3 r, 0 er, 4 bb, 0 so), Kelcie Bormann (5 ip, 4 h, 3 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 6 so) and Megan Zeimet; Alyson Spinas-Valainis (7 ip, 6 h, 0 r, 0 bb, 12 so) and Krysta Tutsch. WP — Spinas-Valainis. LP — Meier. Multiple hits — Preston (Kelcie Bormann 2).