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home : sports : sports Thursday, April 28, 2016

6/14/2014 Email this articlePrint this article 
Central senior Katie Irwin takes a cut during the sixth inning of the Sabers’ non-conference game with Camanche, Tuesday afternoon. Irwin ended up hitting a solo home run during the at-bat in the Sabers’ eventual 3-2 win. It was the third homer in two days for Irwin, who hit two in one game against Dyersville Beckman.
Sabers topple Indians in extras for fourth-straight win

By Ross Eberhart
Sports editor

With one hit, the Central softball team saw its lead disappear in Tuesday night's non-conference tilt with Camanche.

No hit was needed, though, for the Sabers to take it back.

The Indians struck late in the contest, using a two-out double by Libby Schnoor in the sixth inning to turn Central's 2-0 lead into a two-all tie.

And after a scoreless seventh, extra innings were needed to determine a winner.

The Sabers opened the eighth inning with a walk by senior Stephanie Schrader and fellow senior Katie Irwin followed with one of her own.

The next batter, Kalyn Bowen, moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice and sophomore Callaway Kinney was able to hit a deep fly-ball to right.

Camanche caught the ball, but Schrader tagged up and scored from third to put the Sabers in front again.

And that is where Central would stay as Camanche went down in order in the bottom of the eighth to preserve the 3-2 victory.

The Sabers manufactured the game's first run as well.

Hailey Saunders led-off the very first inning with a walk and Schrader sacrificed her over to second.

Saunders moved to third on a groundout and then scored on an RBI-single by Bowen to make it 1-0 early.

The early run remained the game's only score until a wild sixth inning that saw both teams get on the board.

Central struck first in the form of Irwin, who got a hold of a Morgan Mussmann pitch and sent it deep into right field. The ball ended up clanging off the very top of the outfield fence and bouncing over for a solo home run.

Camanche answered back in the bottom of the frame. A walk and single with one out helped the Indians threaten, but Central got a second out on the infield fly rule.

A passed ball, though, moved both Indian players into scoring position and Schnoor belted a two-strike double to the wall in left.

Both teams had base runners in the seventh, but could not break the tie and the game headed to extras where the Sabers pulled in front to stay.

A pair of strong defensive plays finished things off for Central. Kinney made a leaping catch of a line drive in deep right for the second out, while Saber pitcher Hannah Niemann stretched out to spear a bloop hit in front of the pitching ring.

The catch gave Niemann her fifth win of the season. The junior allowed just four hits in eight innings of work and struck out four batters.

Central had five hits in the game coming from five different players - Saunders, Irwin, Bowen, Abby Johnson and Niemann. Irwin hit the home run to finish with both an RBI and a run scored, while Saunders and Schrader scored runs of their own and Bowen and Kinney joined Irwin with RBIs.

It was the third win in two days for the Sabers, who showcased their offense in a doubleheader sweep of Dyersville Beckman.

Central pounded out 17 hits in the opener and scored in all but one inning during a 9-0 rout.

The Sabers remained on fire in game two, piling up a season-best 23 hits in a 14-5 victory.

Little by little, the Sabers built up their lead in the first game.

Central scored individual runs in the first (Saunders singled, was sacrificed over to second and scored on a double by Irwin) and second (Johnson singled and her courtesy runner, Hannah Arey, touched home on a double by Niemann) innings before tacking on three more runs in the third.

At one time, the Sabers had five-straight hits in the inning, which allowed Brooke Chapman, Irwin and Bowen to all score.

Central kept up the pressure. Saunders scored for a second time in the fourth inning and then touched home again in the sixth before the Sabers finished things off with two runs in the seventh.

The first came from center fielder Haley Seitz, while Saunders finished off her big game with her fourth run of the evening.

Saunders added four hits as well, while Irwin collected the same number while tying Bowen for the team-lead with two RBIs.

Johnson smacked three hits with Chapman and Bowen adding two (the Sabers had four doubles in the game).

Niemann spread out six Blazer hits to earn the shutout win. The Saber struck out seven batters and walked just one.

Central actually trailed early in the nightcap. Saunders rolled right into game two by scoring another run in the top of the first, but Beckman struck right back with three runs in the bottom of the frame.

The Blazers added another run in the second and the margin grew to three runs.

Central, though, took the momentum right back when Irwin slammed a solo home run in the third.

An inning later, the Sabers added three more runs to jump back into the lead.

Seitz, Jessica Machovec, Niemann, Irwin and Bowen all had hits during the fourth, which allowed Machovec, Erin Petersen (running for Niemann) and Schrader (who walked) to come around and score.

Additional runs in the fifth and sixth innings added to Central's advantage, but Beckman stayed closed with a run in the bottom of the sixth and it was just a two-run game (7-5) with an inning to play.

The Sabers, though, put the game away with a huge seventh, and they did it all with two outs.

Schrader got things started with a single and Irwin clobbered another Beckman pitch for her second homer of the game.

Bowen started things again with a walk and Kinney also drew a free pass, while Chapman singled.

That hit started a run of five-straight singles for the Sabers and, fittingly, five more runs scored to turn the tight game into a rout.

Seven different Central players had multiple hits in the game. Bowen and Niemann led the way with four apiece, while Saunders and Irwin each had three (two of Irwin's hits were home runs).

Kinney, Chapman and Machovec, meanwhile, all had two hits.

Irwin ended up driving in four runs during the game and scored three more. Niemann added three RBIs and two runs with Bowen adding two RBIs and Schrader and Machovec scoring twice.

Irwin earned the win on the mound, allowing four hits and a single earned run in four innings of work (the senior fanned five batters). Niemann pitched the final three innings and added three strikeouts of her own.

The Sabers began their current four-game winning streak with a wild victory in the nightcap of a road twinbill with Vinton-Shellsburg.

Down one early, Central exploded in the second inning with seven runs to build a seemingly safe advantage.

The Vikettes, though, scored three runs in the bottom of the inning and then added four more in the fourth and suddenly it was the Sabers who needed to rally.

Central did just that in the sixth as Seitz singled and ultimately scored on a Vinton-Shellsburg error.

Tied at eight, the game ended up going to extra innings where Central finally prevailed with a run in the top of the ninth.

Irwin singled with two outs and advanced to second on a passed ball. Bowen, meanwhile, coaxed a walk and Kinney knocked in Irwin with a single.

The Vikettes made things interesting by putting a runner on third in the bottom of the inning, but Central got a fly-out to end the game.

The biggest hit in the Sabers' seven-run second inning came from Bowen, who clocked a home run with the bases full of her teammates for a grand slam.

Sarah Watson led the Sabers in the game with three hits to go with a run and an RBI.

Irwin and Seitz added two hits and two runs apiece, while Schrader, Bowen, Kinney, Saunders and Machovec all had one hit.

Central led early in game one as Schrader came across to score in the first, but the Vikettes broke the game open with four runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth in a 7-3 win.

Kinney had three hits in the game and scored one of two Saber runs in the sixth (Machovec had the other). Schrader, Bowen and Niemann all had two hits in the game with Bowen providing the team's lone RBI.

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