GOING, GOING, GONE: Teutopolis hits three home runs in victory over Effingham

Apr. 23—EFFINGHAM — Rivalry game turned into home run derby.

That was the Effingham and Teutopolis softball game late Monday afternoon at Effingham High School Softball Field.

The Lady Shoes (12-12) cranked three home runs en route to a 7-1 win over the Flaming Hearts (11-6).

"We just told them to be disciplined," T-Town head coach Crystal Tipton said. "Some of the pitches that we were swinging at early were above our hands and above our heads. So, being more disciplined and making sure we didn't swing at what (Saige Althoff) wanted us to swing (at) was key for us."

Leadoff hitter Summer Wall hit the first home run for the visitors in the first inning.

"I was like, 'OK, guys, we really need to get back into hitting,' because we hadn't been doing that well," Wall said. "I said, 'Watch this, first pitch, home run.'"

She got part of her prediction right.

It was a leadoff home run, but it took five pitches instead of one.

Wall worked a 2-2 count before rounding the bases, smiling from ear to ear as she was greeted by her teammates at home plate.

T-Town then made it 3-0 midway through the third after Malea Helmink hit a two-run single, scoring Wall — who hit a double to start the frame — and Chloe Hoene, who singled, before courtesy runner Kera Hartke came in for her.

Effingham scored its only run of the contest in the bottom of the frame.

Alyssa Martin started with a single. She then advanced to second on a passed ball before Jerzi Bierman hit a run-scoring single to cut the deficit to two.

Both teams wouldn't score in the fourth inning.

The Lady Shoes put up a four-spot in the fifth.

Hoene started with a walk before Helmink hit a two-run home run to make it 5-1.

Mallory Bloemer then hit a double and Kayleigh Zerrusen struck out swinging before CJ Apke hit a two-run shot.

"It was a 3-2 count, and I was looking to swing," Apke said. "I wasn't looking to hit it over the fence, but it felt good when it came off."

All of those runs proved to be more than enough for starting pitcher Alyssa Tipton, who was masterful in the circle.

Tipton allowed seven hits and two walks to 11 strikeouts over seven frames.

"I knew they were going to have a strong lineup all the way through, and I needed to move it in and out," she said.

"She's been struggling a little bit, and she'll tell you that," Crystal Tipton added. "For her to come out today and really start from (the first pitch) was our game plan, and she did that. We moved the ball well; her pitches were working."

Alyssa Tipton finished throwing 119 pitches, 77 for strikes. She hit one batter and faced 30 batters.

"She didn't throw us anything to hit because she didn't need to; we chased everything," Flaming Hearts head coach Jerry Trigg said. "The more we chased, the more confident she got."

Althoff was the starter for EHS. She allowed 12 hits and three walks to 11 strikeouts in seven innings. She threw 125 pitches, 78 for strikes, and faced 36 batters.

Wall finished with three hits at the plate. Helmink and Apke had two, and Hoene, Bloemer, Zerrusen, Olivia Hemmen, and Olivia Wermert had one.

Bierman and Sidney Donaldson had two hits for the Hearts. Western Illinois commit Raegan Boone, Natalie Armstrong, and Martin had one.

Contact EDN Sports Editor Alex Wallner at 618-510-9231 or