By Kameron Johnson
The Lady Panthers have begun the 2011 softball season with high hopes.
Experience is something the team does not have to worry about this year returning four seniors, as well as three All- Statesmen junior Maci Oswald, senior Kelsie Stoszkus, University of Tennessee Martin commit senior Lauren smith.
Last year it was the talk of the town as Smith pursued the Illinois State Home Run record.
Hitting 17, she surprisingly fell short of the record by one run. The girls opened up the season in a dominating fashion with a road win against Mascoutah,it was a complete shut out winning 11-0.
It was an all around effort from the whole team. Kelsie Stoszkus and Taylor Barnouski combined for a no hitter, and Lauren Smith hit two home runs at her first two at bats.
The game was called in five innings out of seven due to the ten run rule. Overall it was a great start and hopefully a good omen for the future.