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home : sports : sports Tuesday, May 24, 2016

6/21/2014 Email this articlePrint this article 
Central pitcher Hannah Niemann gets ready to deliver a pitch during the Sabers’ victory over Durant. Niemann picked up her ninth win of the season, Wednesday night, against Davenport North, thanks in large part to her bat as the junior hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh to give the Sabers their first lead in an eventual 3-1 victory. Photos by Ross Eberhart
Sabers rally past Davenport North, sweep Bobcats

By Ross Eberhart
Sports editor

After allowing just one run through six innings of work, Central pitcher Hannah Niemann was still on the hook for a loss as the Sabers came up to bat down 1-0 in the seventh inning of Wednesday's non-conference road game with Davenport North.

So Niemann did something about it.

With one out and teammate Sarah Watson on base, the Saber hurler made sure her strong night on the mound would end with a victory by smacking a two-run home run.

That made it 2-1 Sabers and Central tacked on an insurance run as well in an eventual 3-1 victory.

The Sabers threatened throughout the game, putting runners in scoring position in four different innings (Kalyn Bowen came the closest to scoring, reaching third base in the fourth inning), but were kept off the scoreboard until the seventh.

The Wildcats had their own troubles on the offensive end until the sixth inning when a walk and a double helped North plate the game's first run.

That put the Wildcats just three outs away from a win.

Watson led off the top of the seventh with a walk and was moved over to second on a groundout by Jessica Machovec.

That brought up Niemann, who hit the first pitch she saw over the outfield fence to completely flip the game's momentum.

Hailey Saunders followed with a walk and took second on Stephanie Schrader's grounder before scoring on a Wildcat error during Katie Irwin's at-bat.

The game was not over yet and North made things very interesting with back-to-back singles in the bottom of the inning.

Niemann, though, induced a pair of fly-outs and Central got the two outs they needed to finish off the comeback victory.

The Sabers had four hits in the game with Saunders, Schrader, Callaway Kinney and Niemann all contributing one. Niemann had the home run, while Kinney socked a double in the second. Saunders, Watson and Niemann scored the game's runs.

On the mound, Niemann spread out seven hits and allowed just the single run, while striking out four batters.

It was the third-straight win for the Sabers, who took both games of a WaMaC East doubleheader with Western Dubuque two nights earlier.

While a memorable finish carried the Sabers past the Wildcats, a strong start helped Central take down the Bobcats in game one.

The Sabers feasted on four Western Dubuque errors during the first inning to plate six runs and never looked back in a 9-0 win.

Things were much tighter in the nightcap. Central trailed 4-1 early, but reeled off three runs in the third to tie things up.

The Sabers matched another Bobcat run in the fifth inning and then took the lead for good in the sixth for a 6-5 win and the sweep.

Saunders had Central's only hit in the first inning of the opener, but Schrader, Kinney, Machovec and Niemann all reached on errors, Irwin reached on a fielder's choice in which everyone was safe and Bowen coaxed a walk.

The result was six runs - Saunders, Schrader, Irwin, Bowen, Kinney and Machovec all scored - and an insurmountable lead.

After three uneventful innings, the Sabers added to their lead in the fifth.

Irwin led off the frame with a single and Bowen added her own hit. Kinney sacrificed both runners over, but Western Dubuque got a second out when Irwin was tagged out at home on a fielder's choice.

Haley Seitz, though, loaded the bases when she was hit by a pitch and Bowen scored on a Bobcat error. Niemann followed with a single to plate Brooke Chapman (who reached on the fielder's choice) and Seitz, and make it 9-0.

The nine runs were more than enough support for Niemann, who allowed just four hits and struck out three, while walking just one.

It was Western Dubuque that put together a big first inning in the second game.

The Bobcats took advantage of two hits and two errors to open up a 3-0 lead.

The Sabers responded with a run in the bottom of the inning - Saunders walked, stole second and then scored on a double by Irwin - but Western Dubuque scored again in the third.

That did not slow down the Sabers, who were able to tie things up with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Chapman provided the big hit with a single and Watson added her own RBI as Schrader, Irwin and Bowen all scored.

Western Dubuque pulled back in front with a run in the fourth, but again Central had an answer (Bowen reached on an error and scored on a single by Niemann).

And this time, it was the Sabers who broke the tie with a run.

Schrader was hit by a pitch with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and took second on a passed ball with Irwin at the plate.

Irwin ended up smacking a single to finish her at-bat and Schrader scored what turned out to be the winning run.

It was the last of three hits for Irwin, who smacked a double and drove in two runs. Chapman also had two RBIs, while Schrader and Bowen each scored twice.

Irwin made the start on the mound and allowed just five hits and one earned run in five innings of work (the Bobcats scored four unearned runs). Niemann pitched the final two frames and picked up the win, surrendering just three hits.

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