Effingham softball falls to Freeburg in sectional semifinals

May 30—WATERLOO, Ill. — Effingham knew the type of team they were going up against.

Freeburg star hurler Sam Roulanaitis came into the Lady Midgets' contest against Effingham in a sectional semifinal of the Class 3A Waterloo Sectional on quite the roll. In her last four starts, she had not allowed one earned run and struck out 47 batters.

Against the Flaming Hearts, she yielded two earned runs and a mere three punchouts.

"We had the approach we've had all year," head coach Jerry Trigg said. "Go up there and be aggressive."

EHS made Roulanaitis work the entire game.

Raegan Boone started the contest by popping out to short. Jerzi Bierman then grounded out and Sidney Donaldson flew out to left.

Saige Althoff got Olivia Joseph to strike out to start the bottom of the inning.

Lindsey Muskopf and Roulnaitis then reached on back-to-back errors.

Althoff was able to work around the miscues, though, getting Briley Schmittling to pop out and Aubrey Waeltz to strike out swinging.

Roulnaitis worked a 1-2-3-inning again in the top of the second. She got Natalie Armstrong to strike out and Mya Harvey and Ryley Engel to pop out.

Catie Beaston grounded out to start the bottom of the second. Maggie Wolf then drew a walk and Aryana Blomenkamp hit a single.

Courtesy runner Kate Whitworth and Blomenkamp then scored after an error, making it 2-0.

Joseph then hit a single and Muskopf drove her in on a base hit, making it 3-0.

Alyssa Martin then hit a solo home run to start the top of the third.

Madi Kirk popped out to short and Althoff hit a double. Boone then flew out to center and Bierman reached on a dropped third strike.

With runners on second and third and two outs, Donaldson then grounded out to third, ending the threat.

Althoff then sent the Freeburg lineup down in order in the bottom of the third.

Blomenkamp started the fourth with a single. Harvey then popped out to third.

Engel then hit a single, putting runners on first and second with one out, but Martin lined out and Kirk struck out swinging to end the rally.

The Lady Midgets added one more run in the bottom of the fourth after Muskopf hit an RBI double.

Martin got to Roulnaitis again in the top of the seventh with her second solo home run to make the score.

"We had chances to score there and a couple of innings where we had good chances and we hit the ball hard, but we hit it right at them, or they would track down a long fly ball," Trigg said.

Martin finished with two hits in the contest.

"She struggled on defense this year, but she didn't let it affect her bat," Trigg said. "Her bat really came around the last half of the year. She just tried to stay focused and keep putting good games, good at-bats together. She's just a big-time player."

Armstrong, Engel and Althoff had one hit. EHS loses Boone heading into the 2025 season. She will continue her softball career at Western Illinois University in the fall.

"She was a great teammate and a great kid for us to coach and me to coach," Trigg said. "She didn't play her sophomore year, but she came back last year and had a good year and then turned it on this year."