Gillespie softball (15-5) pitcher Addison Bryant reached a milestone Thursday evening in Springfield when the Miners suffered their fifth loss of the season to Sacred Heart-Griffin.
The senior struck out eight of the 25 batters she faced to become just the second pitcher in Gillespie’s history to reach 1,000 career strikeouts. She fanned two in the 1st inning, three in the 2nd inning and one in the 3rd inning where she reached the milestone. Bryant surpassed the 1,000 mark in the 4th inning after waving two batters to raise her career total to 1,002.
Despite Bryant’s effort on the mound, the Miners fell 1-5 to Sacred Heart after surrendering all five runs in the third inning. A one-out error by Bryant allowed Sacred Heart a jump start with one on base, then a single and double quickly put Gillespie behind 0-2. Two batters later, a three-run home run put the Miners behind 0-5.
At the plate, the Miners out-batted Sacred Heart eight hits to six but was only able to cross one run in the seven-inning battle. Bryant and Mackenzie Kasarda each smacked a double while Gillespie picked up singles from Bryant, Lexie Bussmann, Rylee Jarman, Sydney Henrichs, Abigail Smith and Ally Clay.
The loss is the team’s third one in two weeks after the Miners lost to Highland (1-3) and Alton-Marquette (0-2) last week. Meanwhile in the same period, the team picked up five wins over Nokomis (13-1), Pana (8-2), Jerseyville (4-3), Staunton (14-1) and Litchfield (12-2).
Gillespie is scheduled to travel to Roxana on Friday and then host Bunker Hill next Monday. The team is on the road next Wednesday and Thursday when they travel to Carlinville and East-Alton Wood River, respected, before hosting Vandalia on April 28.
Holding the strikeout record for Gillespie is Kelcie Matesa with 1,501 after the 2008 Gillespie graduate dominated the mound in her four-year tenure. Besides breaking the school record, Matesa broke the IHSA career record for strikeouts, helped the team win four regional titles, and picked up numerous All-Conference and All-State awards. She continued her success at St. Louis University on a softball scholarship.