Junior High Softball
TEXICO - Field scored two runs with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning to defeat St. Mary, 6-5, in Junior High softball action. “We just kept grinding,” said Field head coach Brandon Childers. “I was so proud of them because we could have quit a couple times, especially late in the game. We just kept battling.” Kileigh Irwin delivered a two-RBI single into left field to score Kodie VanEycke and Lilli Morgan for the game-winner. “She’s a great hitter,” said Childers. “She’s a sixth-grader. She caught all 10 innings there, so she was probably running out of gas, but she’s a great hitter, loves the game and works hard. Fortunately, she had a nice hit there to score those two runs.” Ashlyn Childers picked up the win in the circle. She allowed eight hits, five runs (two earned), walking three and striking out 12. Her counterpart, Claire Heinzman, suffered the loss. Heinzman surrendered eight hits, six runs (four earned), walking three and striking out 15 batters. “We gave them too much help,” said Childers. “I don’t know how many girls we had going down looking and that’s big pet peeve of mine. She [Heinzman] plays travel ball for me. I know she’s a good pitcher. She’s going to throw strikes. When you stand up there and go down looking, you’re not doing anything but helping her.” With the game tied in the top of the 10th inning, Justice Malone reached on a three-base error and scored on an obstruction call to give St. Mary a 5-4 lead. “It was a very good game,” said St. Mary coach Jean Jones. “They’re still learning and they’re still young and they need to learn that softball is a game where each team needs to hit the ball and play and that’s what they did.” In the bottom half of the 10th inning, VanEycke led off the inning with a triple. Morgan was walked and took second on defensive indifference. Heinzman then struck out the next two batters looking before giving up the game-winning base hit off the bat of Irwin. “I told them [before the bottom of the 1oth] ‘this game is never over until the last out,’” said Childers. “If you just keep your head down and grinding and keep working, you never know. We got fortunate we pulled it out.” Field tied the game in the bottom of the first. VanEycke started it off when she was hit by a pitch. She advanced to second after a two-out walk to Aliya Williams. VanEycke and Williams executed a double steal before VanEycke scored on a throwing error. The Lady Knights recaptured the lead in the second when Leigha Moore scored after Field committed three errors to give St. Mary a 2-1 lead. Then in the third inning, Field scored three runs to take a 4-2 lead. Morgan's fielder's choice and Williams' single set up Afton Buchanan's two-RBI base hit. The Panthers added an additional run when Irwin singled to right field leading up to Buchanan scoring on an error. The game remained 4-2 until the sixth inning when St. Mary tied it up. Heinzman singled and moved to second on a ground out. Zoey Shields tripled to score Heinzman. Then on a grounder back to the pitcher off the bat of Kylie Akes, Shields managed to score on a throwing error to tie the game. Zoey Shields tripled to score Heinzman. Then on a grounder back to the pitcher off the bat of Kylie Akes, Shields managed to score on a throwing error to tie the game. Heinzman was 2-for-5 with a run scored and a RBI. Shields was 2-for-3 with a run and a RBI. For Field, Irwin was 3-for-5 with two RBI and VanEycke was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Both teams are back in action Thursday. St. Mary (5-1) will host Casey at Lincoln Park. Field (2-0) is at home against Rome.