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Lady Rebels conquer rivals
Rylee Miller
Rebels pitcher Rylee Mills (left( beams while being greeted by first baseman Hilarie Jackson at the end of an inning Friday. Third baseman Francie Gaskin is in the background. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

 SPRINGFIELD —  Jane Trzaska’s first victory as Effingham County’s head softball coach lacked nothing. It featured timely hitting, slick glove work and outstanding pitching.

And one more thing — it came against her team’s biggest rival.

“That was an exciting game,” Trzaska said following the 6-0 win at Rebel Field on Friday. “I hope this will give our girls confidence that they can compete against really good teams like South Effingham.”

The Lady Rebels (1-1) ought to be brimming with confidence since they defeated the Lady Mustangs (5-3) while shorthanded. Three injured players missed the game, including starting catcher Addie Reynolds.

Freshman pitcher Rylee Mills served as an equalizer. She surrendered just four hits and didn’t issue a walk.

“I’m so proud of her,” Trzaska said. “She was lights out. There wasn’t a single point in the game where she wavered.”

Mills, who benefited from several stellar defensive plays, threw 70 percent of her 81 pitches for strikes.

“They were the better team today,” Lady Mustangs head coach Samantha Tracy said. “(Mills) pitched and hit her spots, and kept us off balance. We didn’t adjust and got blanked.”

Effingham County got the only run it would need in the third inning. Sydney Newberry, who drew a leadoff walk from Haylee Johnson, scored it on a sacrifice fly by Jennie Edinger. Newberry got into scoring position on Jaci Coleman’s sacrifice bunt and a single by Francie Gaskin.

Shelby Aiken tallied the Lady Rebels’ second run in the fourth frame. After singling, she scored on a passed ball following successive hits by Mills and Enna Lackey.

Effingham County scored four two-out runs in the sixth inning against Nevaeh Herrod. Newberry and Coleman delivered RBI hits during the uprising.

South Effingham had a runner cut down at the plate in the second frame.