MT. CARMEL IL. — Can an athlete star in spring after contracting both COVID-19 and diabetes? Gibson Southern alum Lyndsi Adamson is proving that you can.
When the former Lady Titan standout pitched four scoreless and hitless innings to start Wabash Valley College softball to a sweep of Mineral Area College at home Monday, she raised her season record to 15-7 and lowered her ERA to 1.75.
Both her record and ERA lead the nationally ranked (No. 20) Lady Warriors, who took a 16 game win streak and 41-16 record against Frontier Community College in Tuesday’s regular season-ending doubleheader in Fairfield Illinois.
They’ll start the postseason Saturday when they host an opponent not yet decided in the Grey Rivers Athletic Conference Tournament.
“I’m very surprised by how Lyndsi has come back,” said Princeton bred Wabash Valley head coach Asa Deffendall. “She wasn’t feeling well in January or February and struggled early in the season. But she came back and has been so solid in the second half of our season.”
Adamson, who has a 2019 senior pitched Gibson Southern to the Pocket Athletic Conference title and 3A sectional and regional championships that brought a Semi-State berth, might have officially achieved a no-hitter had she pitched the fifth inning of Monday’s 11-0 41/2 inning run-ruled shortened win.
“We have three of the best pitchers in the conference but want to keep them fresh for the next two weekends,” said Deffendall, who called on sophomore Kaitlynn Bennett to pitch the final inning of both the Lady Warriors run-rule shortened wins Monday, including the second game that saw Evansville Reitz bred MiKayla Jolly who earned the win.
“I didn’t realize Lyndsi had a no-hitter going,” Deffendall said. “We have been mixing and matching and had our pitchers sharing the game the last three weeks. We want them fresh.”
Asked her feeling not completing the game, Adamson said, “We have been rotating ever since we played Lake Land (GRC leader) a while back. This works better.”
The 5-foot-7 left-hander who turned 20 last Thursday recounted what she went through before her stellar season.
“I’ve had a lot of obstacles since January, but I had to keep going. I had COVID the second week in January and lost about 15 pounds. I felt really weak, couldn’t throw a lot and got rattled easily. Then diabetes hit me at the end of January.
“I had antibodies, but my body was still producing insulin. I kept losing weight and altogether, I’ve lost 25 pounds. Now I eat a lot of crackers to strengthen myself. I eat two or three during a game.”
Defendall, a 2000 Princeton Community grad who played both offensive and defensive line for the football Tigers and as a senior earned All-Gibson County Golf honor, noted that Lyndsi’s control is better than it was last year and much better than early this season. In one game last year, she struck out one batter but walked eight.
“I think she has more confidence, her curveball and screwball are really good. She’s spinning her pitches and has so much movement on the ball, and she’s spotting her changeup well. I think she can pitch Division I softball at the four-year level.”
Adamson, who is considering several Indiana colleges, said she has “built confidence” in her rise ball. “I’m throwing it more and on different planes. Today my curveball was moving a lot and I threw a lot of strikes.
“It’s really nice to play on this team. Our defense is really tough. We have really good hitters and our team chemistry is quite good.”
The Lady Warriors took a season total of 71 home runs to Frontier. Maggie O’Kelley backed Adamson with a two-run home run Monday and Kellene Engelhart hit a solo homer. Tessa Embry, a freshman from Evansville North, hit a two-run homer and three-run homer in the second game.
With the two loses, Mineral Area took a 7-37 record back to Park Hills, Missouri.
Deffendall, who is in his second year as Wabash Valley head coach that after Monday’s opener that he “might give Adamson an at-bat in the second game.”
Sure enough, she got her chance at the plate where she drew a walk.
“This was my first at-bat since my sophomore year at Gibson Southern,” she said.
After Tuesday’s doubleheader at Frontier, the Lady Warriors will shift their attention to the postseason.
“We could play Frontier, Kaskaskia or Southwestern Illinois,” Deffendall said of his team’s potential first opponent. We have as good a shot as anybody to win the regional which will start a week from Saturday in Mt. Vernon (Illinois). Lake Land is good; John Logan beat us in three of four games and Olney Central is coming on. I like our team, especially the way we are playing.”
If Saturday’s doubleheader is split, the teams will play a third and deciding game Sunday. The regional champion will advance to the national tournament in Yuma, Arizona.