ST. CLAIRSVILLE - It's been a challenging week for Rachel Duncan's St. Clairsville girls softball team. And it's not getting any easier.
Following Thursday afternoon's 4-1 home field victory against Edison, St. C. was scheduled to meet mighty John Marshall today at Glen Dale.
Duncan's Lady Red Devils had dropped an 8-6 Wednesday decision to Wheeling Park prior to Thursday's impressive bounce-back win over a formidable Edison combine.
"We showed up today and we had to, playing an opponent like Edison," Duncan disclosed. "It was a combination of solid pitching by Lauren (Figura) and some good timely hitting."
Not to mention a pair of back-to-back web gems turned in by the now 10-9 Red Devils. "Those two plays were huge," Duncan confirmed. "We have to play defense like that if we expect to do well (in the postseason."
Edison, meanwhile, was guilty of three fielding misplays, all of which greatly aided St. C.s scoring output.
"It's no secret," stated Lady Wildcats' coach Spencer Bendle. "In (this) sport, you have to make the routine plays if you expect positive results. We weren't able to do that today on a couple occasions and it definitely cost us."
Edison catcher Kristen Prokopakis led off the game with an infield hit and came around to score two outs later when sister Kayla Prokopakis grounded a base hit up the middle.
The Lady Cats, however, would not score again with Figura in control. St. C.'s sophomore mound ace fired a four-hit gem, finishing with four strikeouts and one walk.
Two Edison errors permitted St. C. to knot the score in the bottom of the first with Figura and Brianna "Beans" Hunmmel reaching base.
St. C. scored the go-ahead tally in the third. Shortstop Jesse Machovina beat out an infield hit and scored easily when Figura clouted an opposite field double that just missed clearing the fence.
The Red Devils added two more in the fifth. Machovina singled and eventually raced on on a wild pitch. With senior Taylor Clark aboard, Figura again found the gap, good for a second two-base hit and run batted in.
Edison's best chance to answer came in the top of the sixth. First baseman Trisha Trifonoff sent a rocket shot down the left field line which St. C.'s Alicia Avila tracked down on a superb running catch.
The visitors' next hitter, Kayla Prokopakis, hit a ground ball deep in the hole which Machovina reeled in, then fired a strike to Clark, robbing the Cats' senior standout.
Figura then yielded a single to shortstop Molly McCoy, but came back to retire the final four batters to end it.
Machovina went 3-for-4 with two infield hits. Edison southpaw Caitlin Brenstuhl went the distance. The Lady Cats' sophomore recorded three Ks and two walks.
Edison is scheduled to host Brooke this afternoon.
St. Clairsville 4, Edison 1
Edison 100 000 0 - 1 4 3
St. Clairsville 101 020 x - 4 8 4
EDISON (12-7): Brenstuhl (LP, 3K, 2BB) and Kr. Prokopakis. Ka. Prokopakis s, rbi.
ST. CLAIRSVILLE (10-9): Figura (WP, 4K, 1BB) and Rykowski. Figura, 2d, 2rbi; Machovina, 3s.