A seventh inning rally fell short for the varsity softball girls, and they fell to visiting Springfield 7-6 in the second round of the sections on Thursday.
With two outs, top-of-the-order Sophie Shouler singled. Kaylee Karels grounded to the infield and forced and landed safely on an error at first. Laci Hollerich’s line drive double scored them both, and Lexi Waldron doubled as well to put the tying run on second.
But the Tigers, seeded fifth, grabbed a line drive at third to escape fourth-ranked Cleveland with the victory.
“Whatever they did in the top of the seventh to come out and hit…if they would have hit like that the whole game it wouldn’t have been a contest,” said head coach Mike Barten. “If we play like that at Caswell on Saturday, we’ll live to next Tuesday.
With a Hollerich double followed by a Waldron homer, the Clippers led 2-0 going into the second, but the Tigers rallied for five runs in the second on five singles and a double to go in front 5-2.
They added a run in the sixth on a walk, a single and a sacrifice fly to extend their lead, 6-2.
Karels led off the bottom of the sixth with a double that hit the left field fence and scored on a Waldron double to pull the Clippers within three, 6-3.
The Tiger’s winning run came in the seventh on a hit batter, a walk and an RBI single.
Springfield fielded a pitcher with a wicked riser, causing a lot of pop flies, but the Clippers only struck out once. With a homer and a pair of doubles, Waldron (above) was pounding laces off the ball. Hollerich had a double and a single. Karels had a double. Shouler and Greta Hahn each had a single.
Hailey Plonsky started in the circle and tossed for five and a third innings. She allowed eight hits, and two walks while striking out two and beaning one.
In a solid effort in relief, Lilly Lamont gave up just two hits, walked two and hit one batter.
The Clippers only committed one error, one less than Springfield.
In the elimination bracket, the Clippers play Nicollet at 10:00 am in Caswell Park tomorrow (Saturday).
The Clippers easily beat the Raiders earlier in the season. If the Clippers win, they will play again at noon.
Greta Hahn and Laci Hollerich meet on an infield popup.
Centerfielder Kaylee Karels aims for shortstop Sophie Shouler on the cut.
Sophie Shouler scoops a grounder.