Losing two of three games this week didn’t make it a losing week for the Pekin softball team.
The young Dragons opened the week with a 10-4 win Monday over visiting Morton — their first victory of the season — before falling 9-7 to Canton on Tuesday and 7-3 to Washington on Thursday in a trio of Mid-Illini Conference games.
The losses, against two of the conference’s better teams, each had some positives for Pekin inside them.
Pekin (1-8, 1-2) battled back from a 5-1 deficit against visiting Canton to tie the game 5-5. And the Dragons played host Washington tough at Jan Smith Field after falling behind 6-1 after two innings.
“I’m very happy with how we played against Washington,” said Pekin coach Skip Penning. “I thought our team clicked for the first time this season. Washington knew we were coming after them. We just needed a few timely hits.”
Camryn Tibbetts hit a solo home run in the fifth inning for the Dragons against Washington. Pekin’s Kylie Cutting and Gabby Blanchard each had two hits including a double.
Washington had a dozen hits against Pekin starter Sydney Burks and two relievers.
Kendall McKinley hit a three-run homer in the first inning for the Panthers and winning pitcher Kayana Diederich helped her cause at the plate with two hits and two RBI.
Macey Whisker (two runs, two hits, double), Allie Scrivner (two hits), Alyssa Webb (two hits) and Emma Guenther (two hits) also hurt Pekin at the plate.
Diederich, an IUPUI recruit, allowed seven hits, fanned eight and walked two in a complete-game effort.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.