FAIRBURY - Paige Sinnett's 17 strikeouts and clutch two-out hitting by Prairie Central High School hitters proved too much for Central Catholic on Tuesday as the Hawks defeated the Saints 8-3 in a Corn Belt Conference softball game.
Central Catholic fell to 8-9 overall and 1-5 in league play. Prairie Central improved to 12-8 and 3-3.
The Saints grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first on a Megan Fitzgerald RBI single and had two outs in the bottom of the inning before Prairie Central erupted for five runs for a 5-1 lead.
"When you get behind big and early against a solid team like Prairie Central, it's difficult to come back,'' said Saints' coach Mark Demboski.
The Hawks added single runs in the second, third and fifth innings, with seven of their eight runs scoring after two outs. Central Catholic tacked on two runs in the fifth for the final.
"We've been hitting the ball well lately and tonight we had a lot of clutch hits with two outs to score runs," said Prairie Central coach Darcy Rigsby.
Sinnett (10-5) struck out 15 batters in a 2-0 loss to highly touted Beecher on Saturday, and followed that up with her 17 strikeouts Tuesday while limiting Central Catholic to no earned runs on three hits.
"Paige was really good today and never gave us a chance to get back in it,'' said Demboski. "Our girls did play hard and we saw some positive things we can build on. We just need to play more consistent softball."
"Paige has pitched really well lately, and threw the right pitches when she needed to tonight and really outsmarted the hitters," Rigsby added.
Kiley Corban had three hits, including a double, and drove in a run to lead Prairie Central while Sinnett also contributed two hits and two RBI. Whitney Oelschlager added two hits and an RBI while Rochelle Gerber had a double and drove in one run.
Kara Kirkpatrick had a double and Central Catholic's lone RBI.
Lauren Huebsch (3-5) was the starter and loser for the Saints. Huebsch pitched six innings, allowing six earned runs while striking out two and walking one.