SHABBONA — One big swing gave the Earlville-Leland Lady Raiders the sweep.
It looked as if the Indian Creek girls softball team would earn a series split with Earlville-Leland on Friday until Lady Raiders pitcher Kennedy Meloy's two-run homer in the top of the seventh propelled E-L to a 2-1 victory.
The trouble started for Indian Creek in the top of the seventh when Jadyn Pickert led off with what should have been a can-of-corn popup into the howling wind, but instead turned into a two-base error. After a passed ball, Meloy crushed the 0-2 offering through the wind and well over the 190-foot sign in left field to give the Raiders (6-1 overall, 3-0 Little Ten Conference) the late lead.
"I really didn't even think about having two strikes," Meloy said. "I actually thought I was going to hit a home run. ... (T-Wolves pitcher Jesika Lowe) was throwing me inside the whole time, and I was fouling them off. I think she left one a little more outside than inside."
The Timberwolves (1-6, 1-3 Illinois Little Ten) weren't able to garner run support for Lowe, who threw a gem of a game but ended up with the tough-luck loss. She tossed a complete game, giving up two runs (one earned) while striking out seven and scattering three hits.
"You just gotta put the bat on the ball," T-wolves coach Jeremy Lowe said. "We've got to increase our fielding percentage. Fielding is what has been hurting us lately. If we get some defense going, the games are going to change for us."
The lone T-wolves run came in the first inning when Hailey Herrmann doubled to bring home Jade Milostan. From there, the T-wolves managed only two more hits the rest of the game against Meloy (1 R, 2 H, 3 BB, 10 K).
"What an exciting game!" said E-L coach Shannon Cook. "It was certainly a pitchers' duel."