MATTOON - Pizza at Pagliacci's or Villa. That was Hannah Dow's postgame suggestion to her Heartland College softball team playing in her hometown.
Heartland had no reason to doubt the tour guide to that point Friday.
Dow welcomed herself home by pitching a one-hitter in an 8-0 win over John Wood in an opening-round game of the NJCAA Division II Region 24 Turnament at the Roundhouse Complex.
The game was called after five innings.
Heartland (31-10) plays in today's 10 a.m. winner's bracket game.
Getting the chance to pitch Friday before former Normal Community High School star and Eastern Illinois-bound Amber May likely moves into the circle for games today and Sunday, Dow only showed homecoming nerves for a bit.
"At the beginning, I was a little bit (nervous)," Dow said. "It went away after the first inning. I got to overthrowing the ball there at first."
Kaitlyn Dyche got John Wood's only hit in the third inning. Dow allowed two base runners and struck out three.
The game ended when Jessica Schaefer's fly ball was misplayed for a double, sending in two runs to provide the eight-run mercy-rule margin in the fifth.
Callie Schmidt, who had two hard-hit fly balls caught, had a two-run single in the fifth.
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Amanda Sartoris had a first-inning double and McKenzie Phillips a third-inning bunt single for Heartland.
John Wood… 000…00…-0-1-2
Heartland… 031…04…- 8-7-0
WP - Hannah Dow (8-5). LP - Kuch.
Hitting stars - Sarah Waylock (2 hits, 2 runs).
Pitching star - Dow (5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO).
Records - Heartland 31-10.