With the start of the softball season, the Illinois Valley Central Lady Ghosts experienced a tough but successful opening week.

With the start of the softball season, the Illinois Valley Central Lady Ghosts experienced a tough but successful opening week.

The Ghosts opened the season by taking down El Paso-Gridley, 10-9, Wednesday.

Taking the mound for IVC was sophomore Jenna Noland, who garnered the win with one strikeout and no walks.

“Our pitching was outstanding,” coach Mike Berchtold said. “But our defense was not.”

Junior Shelby Sutherland led off scoring in the second inning when she hit a triple that scored junior Hannah McCorkle, who reached on a triple.

After two walks, junior Jessie Ely smacked a single that put the Ghosts up, 4-0.

In the third inning, sophomore Amy Berchtold drew a walk and scored when McCorkle hit a single.

The Ghosts added three more runs in the fifth when junior Ellen Pearson hit a double and was scored on a double from Sutherland.

Sutherland reached home when Noland hit a clutch single.

Freshman Grace Gould then hit into a fielder’s choice to score Noland and put IVC up, 8-1.

The Ghosts added an insurance run in the sixth, but El Paso was able to fight back with eight runs in the eighth inning to tie the game.

In the bottom of the ninth, with the game on the line, Marci Fletcher reached base on a single.
Ely then stepped up to the plate and knocked in a single to score Fletcher and win the game, 10-9.

“We got 15 hits for the game and our hitting is actually doing really well,” Berchtold said.

The Ghosts then took on Eureka Friday and won, 10-6.

Noland again took the mound for IVC and struck out six on her way to her second win.

“Our pitching was solid again for that game,” Berchtold said.

Eureka’s offense started the game hot by racking up four runs in the first inning.

The Ghosts rallied in the third inning when Gould reached on a single and was scored on an RBI double from Berchtold.

Pearson brought Berchtold across home plate when she calmly knocked in a double.

McCorkle took the lead down to 4-3 when she crushed a single that sent Pearson around to score.

The Lady Ghosts tied the game in the fourth inning when Sutherland took a walk and scored around when Gould smacked a double toward the fence.

Eureka took a 6-4 lead in the top of the fifth, but the Ghosts cut the lead to one when McCorkle scored Berchtold on a fielder’s choice.

In the bottom of the seventh, IVC fought back when Fletcher walked, senior Brittany Noonen reached on an error and Gould hit a single to load the bases.

Junior Kathleen Gauwitz then whacked a two RBI single, and Berchtold added two more runs when she came up and hit a single.

The Ghosts scored a final run when Pearson hit an RBI single to give the Ghosts the win.

“I think that once our defense improves, we will be a dangerous s team,” Berchtold said.

The Ghosts (2-0) next play at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Mendota.