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MOUNT ZION — Greg Blakey estimates one of Dayna Kennedy's home runs is still traveling.

Kennedy hit two homers, one to deep left and one to deep center, in the second game of Mount Zion's doubleheader Apollo Conference softball sweep of Taylorville Tuesday.

The Braves won 11-0 in the first game and 11-1 in the second game.

Kennedy, a junior catcher, combined to go 3-for-5 with two homers, a double and five RBIs for the Braves.

Ally Bruner pitched the first game, going five innings with nine strikeouts while allowing two hits and Audrey Eades tossed the second game with six strikeouts over five innings.

"Our pitchers threw the ball fantastic today," Blakey, Mount Zion's softball coach, said.

Bailey Davis went 3-for-3 in the first game for Mount Zion with a double and an RBI and Camryn Skundberg was 3-for-3 with five RBIs in the first game.

“It was nice to be outside, number one," Blakey said. "In both games our hitters at the top of our lineup came out to hit."

Beasley hits three homers for Casey-Westfield

CASEY -- Lindsay Beasley usually wears contacts, but she didn't have them in on Tuesday.

It didn't matter as Beasley hit home runs in all three at-bats to help Casey-Westfield beat Mattoon 6-3.

"I have hit home runs in games before, but never three," said Beasley, a Casey senior. "It is a good accomplishment and it led us to a good win."

"When she is on she can be one of the best hitters around," said Casey coach Dalton McFarland. "She has the potential to put up big games. It was nice to see her bounce back from Monday when she struggled a little bit (0-for-3 in a 12-0 win over Olney). When her swing is on and she is swinging at good pitches she can really drive the ball."

As for her contacts McFarland said, "Nothing surprises me with her."

Mattoon didn't go quietly in the seventh. After the first two were out Grace McDowell reached on an infield hit and Delainey Bryant followed with a double to the gap in right-center scoring McDowell. Bryant stole third, but was left there as Casey's Claire Maulding recorded her ninth strikeout. 

"They scored all of their runs on home runs," said Mattoon coach Hannah Dow. "Our pitchers have to hit the corners. I give a nod to Lindsay Beasley for hitting three home runs in a row. We struck out nine times and five of them were looking and that is unacceptable. We will work on pitch selection, being aggressive at the plate and our pitchers are going to have more work outs. We have a lot to work on."


Mattoon, Charleston split doubleheader

CHARLESTON -- While neither Mattoon nor Charleston started the Apollo Conference baseball season with a 2-0 record, neither one of them started 0-2.

After Mattoon took the first game 3-2 in eight innings, Charleston earned the split with a 6-3 win in six innings over the Green Wave in the second game.

“You have to (get the split) to stay in the race. We felt we could’ve won two,” Charleston coach Derrick  Landrus said. “First one was a good game, we just couldn’t come up with the big hit. Errors hurt us, but those happen. The guys will come through. They’ve been good all year."

Charleston’s Wes Harrell played a key role in the split. He started the second game and struck out nine batters in four innings as Charleston built a 6-1 lead. Harrell drove in three of those runs, including a two-run single in the fourth inning.

“Going down in the first game, I knew it would be close in the second game. I just had to come in and hit my spots and get outs,” Harrell said. “I was just staying relaxed. The fastball in the side corner, it didn’t seem like they wanted to hit it and I just kept pounding it and they didn’t want it.”

Mattoon was coming off a big 9-2 win over Paris on Monday, but coach Mark Jackley didn’t think the team put the same at bats together on Tuesday.

“This team is capable of good at bats. I thought offensively, it just wasn’t our day,” Jackley said. “We looked at too many strikes, we didn’t take advantage of scoring opportunities in both games. Teams are going to pitch around Garrette (Branson) this year and we have to have other guys who have to come through for us.”

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Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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