E-Gals shut out Madisonville

Freshman pitcher Mollie Julian struck out 10 batters, and the Apollo High School softball team took advantage of its limited offensive opportunities to capture a 4-0 win against Madisonville-North Hopkins on Thursday at E-Gal Park.

It was the 10th win in the last 11 outings for Apollo (16-10).

In the complete-game pitching victory, Julian surrendered only three hits and walked one batter.

“Mollie threw well tonight,” said E-Gals head coach Stephen Julian. “She had 10 strikeouts, one walk. She gave up a couple of hits there in the last inning — bad pitch-calling on me, I’ll take the blame for that — but she threw well.

“We scored a lucky one early on a passed ball and then got a few more runs there in the last inning that got us a little comfort. It was a nice win.”

Apollo notched its first run in the bottom of the opening frame, with Arianna Ramirez leading off with a base hit, advancing to second base on a fielder’s choice, moving to third on an error and then scoring on Madisonville’s passed-ball miscue for a 1-0 edge.

Neither team found much success getting runners on base again until the E-Gals struck for three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Tyler Hall led off with a double to center field, Clark had a base hit, and Macy Calhoun clubbed an RBI single to put her team up 2-0. Moments later, Clark scored from third base on a wild pitch, and Calhoun plated the final run when Abie Butterworth reached safely on an error.

“I don’t know about them, but it makes me feel better,” Stephen Julian said of gaining the late cushion. “It changes the game for the other team a little bit if they’ve got a few more runs to get back and not just one. I’ll take it, for sure.”

The Lady Maroons (14-10) recorded two of their three hits in the top of the seventh, but Mollie Julian forced consecutive strikeouts to preserve the shutout.

Apollo finished with four hits against Madisonville pitcher Sadie Kirk, who tallied five strikeouts and gave up three earned runs.

“Their pitcher did a nice job and kept us off balance,” Julian added. “That last inning, we were able to piece some stuff together. I think we stranded a few runners, but it was good.”

The E-Gals will return to action at this weekend’s Best of the West tournament in Bowling Green. They’ll play Paducah Tilghman on Friday, followed by matchups against Marshall County and Graves County on Saturday.

“Every year, we go down there,” Julian said. “It’s quality ball, and some of the best teams in the state show up. It’s just a good tournament to finalize the regular season and face some good competition to get ready for the postseason.”

MADISONVILLE 000 000 0 — 0 3 3

APOLLO 100 003 x — 4 4 1

WP-Julian. LP-Kirk. 2B-Hall (A).