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|7/13/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
Central opens postseason with win over Wahlert
|Central sophomore Miranda Meland crosses the plate in the fifth inning of the Sabers’ 6-3 victory over Dubuque Wahlert in 4A regional quarterfinal action, Thursday night. It was the second of two runs for Meland, who also had two hits.|
|Saber second baseman Jessica Machovec throws to first to get Central out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth inning. Machovec scored two runs as well in the Sabers’ win.|
By Ross Eberhart
For 30 seconds, the Central softball team faced a deficit during Thursday night's 4A regional quarterfinal game with Dubuque Wahlert.
And that was long enough for the Sabers.
It had appeared that the Golden Eagles had struck first on Central's home field when Maddy Nilles singled to score teammate Mary McAllister in the third inning.
The Sabers, though, believed that McAllister failed to touch home plate and the umpire agreed with them. Instead of scoring the game's opening run, McAllister was called out after a Central appeal and the Wahlert half of the inning was over.
The change in momentum carried into the bottom of the inning and it was the Sabers who grabbed the early advantage with three runs.
Central never looked back either, tacking on a single run in the fourth and two more in the fifth to bring home a 6-3 victory.
Jessica Machovec led off the bottom of the third for the Sabers with a grounder back to the pitcher. Wahlert, though, brought up its first baseman to combat the slap-hitting freshman and nobody came to cover the bag, allowing Machovec to reach safely.
Machovec made the mistake hurt as she stole second and then took third when Katie Irwin hit a single past the second baseman.
Miranda Meland was up next and she singled up the middle. Machovec scored on the hit, while Irwin and Meland both moved into scoring position on the Golden Eagles' throw back into the infield.
Brooke Posey kept things going with a bloop single to plate Irwin, and Kalyn Bowen hit a hard grounder.
Meland broke for home on the hit and beat the tag for the game's third run. Courtesy runner Hailey Saunders, meanwhile, came all the way around to third on the play, while Bowen alertly took second.
The two Sabers ended up stranded in scoring position, but Central had a 3-0 lead.
After Wahlert was unable to answer in the fourth, the Sabers added to their lead in the bottom of the stanza.
Machovec again proved to be the spark plug as she reached on a Golden Eagle error with one out and stole second.
Wahlert countered by getting a second out in the inning, but Irwin socked a grounder that bounced past the second baseman and Machovec scored again to make it 4-0.
The Golden Eagles answered in the fifth. An error coupled with a double to open the inning put runners on second and third and Wahlert got on the board after a strikeout with a single.
Central got a second out in the frame, but the next Golden Eagle batter coaxed a walk to load the bases.
The Sabers, though, got out of the jam on a groundout to Machovec and then quickly answered Wahlert's opening run with two of their own.
Meland singled up the middle again to lead off the bottom of the fifth and Posey came through with a deep double to right-center to score her.
Bowen added a hit of her own and Morgan Oldsen knocked in Saunders (again running for Posey) with a single that glanced off the foot of the Wahlert pitcher.
The second run of the inning made it 6-1 with two runners on and no outs, and the Sabers looked to be close to breaking open the game.
Wahlert, however, yielded just a walk to Stephanie Schrader during the remainder of the inning to skirt further trouble.
The Golden Eagles, in turn, threatened again in the sixth as a single and two Central errors helped Wahlert score again, while putting runners on first and third.
This time it was the Sabers, who got out of a jam, highlighted by a 20-plus-pitch at-bat that ended with a Wahlert groundout. The next Golden Eagle batter grounded right back to Posey on the mound and Central kept its four-run lead.
The Sabers were unable to add to their advantage in the sixth and Wahlert scored one more run in the seventh, but Posey slammed the door on the Golden Eagles, fanning the final two batters (the Saber senior opened the inning with a strikeout as well) to finish off the victory.
Irwin, Meland, Posey and Oldsen all had two hits in the game with Bowen and Machovec adding individual hits of their own.
Machovec and Meland both had two runs in the game with Posey driving in two runs and picking up the win on the mound (the senior struck out 10 Golden Eagle batters).
The victory sends the Sabers west for a regional semifinal game tonight with Solon. The Spartans are ranked third in class 4A and finished the regular season with a 38-2 record.
The two teams met in a WaMaC East doubleheader in the middle of June with the Spartans taking both games.
The Sabers, though, jumped out to a 3-0 lead over Solon in the nightcap and trailed just 5-3 before the Spartans broke things open in the seventh.
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