Softball: Girls find their swing
The Princeton girls appear to have found their swing.
Over a three-game period the girls recorded 19 hits and 21 runs in an 8-5 victory over Zimmerman on Tuesday, April 24, a 4-0 loss at the hands of Foley on Thursday, April 26, and a 9-1 win over Foley on Monday, April 30. Along the way, the Tigers saw their defense make steady improvements, a point hit home by the fact that Monday against Foley the girls played one of their few errorless games of the season.
Coming off a 4-0 loss Thursday at Foley, the Tigers were ready to face Foley again Monday. They worked hard in practice Friday on lessons learned a day earlier in the defeat, coach Mandee Allen said.
But it looked like the Tigers might be in trouble early. In the first inning Foley put two runners on base with no outs. Both girls advanced on steals to put runners on second and third. But Haley Ostendorf took a ball at third base and fired it off to catcher Katlyn Vickers, who threw the runner out at home plate. With one out, pitcher Sam Hanus walked the bases loaded but found her composure and retired the side to get herself out of a jam, forcing Foley to strand four runners on base.
Princeton responded with a three-run first inning.
Jasmine Ortega started things off with a lead-off walk. Vickers then followed with a single to short center. Ostendorf was then walked to load the bases. Sam Hunn was walked to bring Ortega in for a 1-0 lead. With bases still loaded, Kate Hanson ripped a ball into center field to bring in another two runs.
Hanus retired the side in order in the second and third innings and Maggie McLaughlin turned in the play of the game when she made a reach for a line drive, turned on a dime and fired off a ball to first baseman Renee Luedke for the inning’s final out.
In the third inning Princeton again loaded the bases. A Luedke hit into the infield scored Ostendorf for her second of three runs on the day.
The Tigers added another run in the fourth inning.
Hanus dropped a hit into short left field to lead off the inning. She advanced to second on a Tobi Turpen bunt. Hanus scored two batters later following a Vickers’ double.
Foley got its only spark of the final six innings when junior Ashley Thell stepped up to the plate and hit a leadoff inside-the-park home run.
Hanus retired the next three batters, then retired the side in order in the sixth inning.
And while the Tigers held a 5-1 lead, they showed they weren’t ready to call it a game and exploded for another four runs in the sixth inning to take a 9-1 lead.
Hanus led off with a fly to center for an out. Turpen was then walked and stole second. Ortega fired off a line drive down the third baseline. She was called safe at first when the relay sailed over the head of Foley’s first baseman. Turpen scored on the play.
Vickers came to the plate and ripped a ball into center field. Ortega scored on the play while Vickers advanced to third.
Ostendorf came to the plate and got a hit that scored Vickers. A series of overthrows and bad fielding by Foley allowed Ostendorf to advance to third.
Hanson came to the plate and got a hit. From third base, Ostendorf headed for home and ran into the catcher who, as a result, dropped the ball to allow Princeton’s ninth run.
Eighth-grade pitcher Renee Bragg entered the game in the seventh and retired three of her first four batters in her first varsity appearance.
Foley 4, Princeton 0
Princeton had five hits but couldn’t put a runner across the plate, allowing Foley to earn a 4-0 win over the Tigers on Thursday, April 26.
Pitcher Sam Hanus pitched one of her strongest games of the season, recording eight strikeouts as she also gave up just five hits.
Princeton trailed 2-0 heading into the sixth inning. But some crafty offense by Foley allowed the Falcons to extend their lead to 4-0.
With one out, Foley’s Kennedy Jurek reached first on a bunt and stole second. Nicole Gapinski then hit a ball over the head of first baseman Renee Luedke to put runners at the corners. A Kristen Zapf hit into deep right field allowed Jurek and Gapinksi to score.
The Tiger offense struggled against Foley.
“We were making solid contact at the plate, but we were hitting to people,” coach Mandee Allen said. That kept her girls from moving her runners forward after they reached base.
Ostendorf and the Tigers’ strong offense proved to be too much for Zimmerman Tuesday, April 24, winning 8-1.
The Tigers jumped out to a quick lead scoring one run in the first inning. Samantha Hanus started pitching for the Tigers and held Zimmerman to their one run they scored in the second inning until she was relieved by sophomore Summer Bachmeyer in the fourth.
Senior Haley Ostendorf led the Tigers’ offense going four for four on the night with three runs batted in. Ostendorf’s offense was closely followed by Tylor Beard, who went two for three. Beard also hit Princeton’s only triple during the game.
“I was very pleased with the way the girls played. It was a solid win and we carried over what we worked on in practice the night before,” said head coach Mandee Allen.
The Tigers’ defense also had a notable night, committing zero errors. A first for the Tiger defense this season.