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|6/12/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
Dramatic win highlights Northeast's perfect day
|Northeast freshman Kelsey Carder gets ready to hit the ball during the Rebels’ game with West Branch at the Calamus-Wheatland Invitational, Saturday afternoon. Carder had two hits during the game and led the Rebels, who went 3-0, with five RBIs during the tournament.|
By Ross Eberhart
The Northeast softball team had already proven once that it could handle diversity during its game with West Branch at Saturday's Calamus-Wheatland Invite.
But it was the Rebels' second rally late in the contest that proved to be the difference.
Northeast was just three outs away from earning a hard-fought 6-5 win over the Bears when West Branch shortstop Jordan Laing changed the complexion of the game with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the seventh.
Suddenly, the Rebels not only had to find a way to pull back in front, but also keep West Branch from building off the momentum of the homer and ending the game right there in the seventh.
Northeast ended up doing both. First, the Rebels retired West Branch in order after the big blast and then completely re-seized the momentum by going back in front with a run in the top of the eighth.
The Rebel defense did the rest with the game ending when Northeast caught two-straight Bears stealing.
The victory over West Branch was sandwiched between two more comfortable wins for Northeast, who was the only squad in the eight-team field to go a perfect 3-0.
The Rebels opened their day with a 6-1 win over Big East-rival Bellevue and then finished it with a 12-0 rout over Louisa-Muscatine.
Northeast got off to a good start against the Bears, plating two runs in the first (Kelsey Carder and Baylie Parson both scored on a West Branch) and another in third to go up 3-0.
The Bears, though, answered back in a big way in the bottom of the third as Laing cleared the bases with a three-run double and then scored a fourth run herself to give West Branch its first lead.
The advantage did not last long, thanks to a three-run Rebel fourth.
Morgan McAleer and Courtney Stoll both singled to lead off the frame, while Tierra Hildebrandt reached on a fielder's choice in which everyone was safe.
All three Rebels would eventually score. McAleer crossed the plate on an error, while Stoll and Hildebrandt scored on groundouts by Aleenah Marcucci and Rylee Dickey respectively.
West Branch came back with a run in the bottom of the inning, but Northeast retained a one-run advantage until the bottom of the seventh and Laing's home run.
Because of tournament play, the international tiebreaker was used to increase the chances of scoring in the extra innings.
That meant that the Rebels' last out of the seventh inning, Parson, started the eighth inning on second.
She did not stay there long, though, as West Branch's third error of the game, allowed the sophomore to scamper home, putting Northeast back in front 7-6.
West Branch also started with a runner on second. Northeast got a big first out on a grounder to third, but a fielder's choice in which everyone was safe put Bears on first and third with one out.
The Bears decided to get risky and went for a squeeze bunt, but the batter was unable to put the ball in play. The runner charged back to third, but was picked off by Parson for the second out.
One pitch later, the West Branch runner on first tried to steal second, but Parson came up throwing again and the game ended when the Bear was tagged out.
Both Carder and Parson had two hits in the game with the latter also scoring two runs. Four Rebels - Marcucci, Dickey, Carder and Franks - had RBIs in the contest.
Things were less stressful in the opener as Northeast opened up a 3-0 lead over Bellevue and then put the game away with a three-run fifth to pick up a 6-1 win.
Courtney Stoll led the way for the Rebels with three hits, including a double, and a run, while Dickey had two hits and a run of her own. Carder joined Stoll with a double and also drove in two runs, while Hildebrandt had an RBI of her own.
Maddison Daniels earned the win on the mound, allowing just two Comet hits and the lone run, which was not earned, while striking out eight batters.
Northeast followed up its eight-inning game with West Branch with one that lasted just three innings against Louisa-Muscatine.
The Rebels jumped all over the Falcons, plating eight runs in the first inning alone. Northeast added two runs in the second and third innings as well to score the 12-0 rout.
Nine different Rebels scored runs in the game with Marcucci leading the way with three (Dickey had two runs of her own). The freshman also had three hits in the game with Dickey and Franks coming up with two.
Carder again drove in two runs with Marcucci, Dickey, Parson, McAleer and Franks also having RBIs.
Bailey Claussen, meanwhile, picked up the win on the mound, limiting Louisa-Muscatine to just two hits in three innings of work with two strikeouts.
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