Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Shamrock Softball Trails NEN After Three Innings; Then Explodes for 17-1 Victory

Northeast Nodaway has been having a feast or famine year in softball so far. Wednesday, both teams were on display in the Bluejays’ matchup with North Harrison. Northeast gave the Shamrocks all they could handle through three innings, leading them 1-0. But after that, North Harrison exploded for 12 in the fourth and five more in the fifth to get the 17-1 victory.

Payton Craig walked to lead off the game after a long battle with NEN pitcher Maggie Schmitz and stole second on a close play. But she was stranded there as Brandi Rivet grounded out, Audrey Briggs chased a high pitch and struck out, and Emma Craig grounded out.

Northeast had a chance to score with two outs in the bottom of the first as Makayla Adwell beat out an infield hit to third baseman Ashlynn Gilpatrick. Taylor Coffelt reached on another scratch hit as Adwell went all the way from first to third on the play, but Anne Schieber grounded out to end the threat.

It looked like North Harrison would get on the board in the second, as Ashlynn Gilpatrick doubled over left fielder Anne Schieber’s head, but then NEN centerfielder Paige West made a diving catch of Kami Gibson’s pop fly and caught Sally Briggs’ fly ball. NEN shortstop Taylor Coffelt made a running grab of Carly Rinehart’s pop fly, which could have been extra bases, to end the inning.

It looked like North Harrison would break through in the third as Rainey Fordyce reached on an error to start the inning and the top of the order was coming up. But Payton Craig roped one right at Coffelt, who snared it and doubled off Fordyce. Brandi Rivet doubled just past Anne Schieber to restart North Harrison, but Audry Briggs grounded out to end the inning.

Northeast finally went ahead in the third inning when Paige West singled up the middle to start the third. Maggie Schmitz struck out, but Makayla Adwell beat out an infield hit to second baseman Carli Rinehart and West went to third as her throw got away. Taylor Coffelt grounded out to score West.
But then the floodgates opened for North Harrison in the fourth as their magical inning came around again. They sent 17 batters to the plate; Northwest got Payton Craig out twice in the frame, but couldn’t retire anyone else. Emma Craig led off with a single up the middle and went to second on a wild pitch. Ashlynn Gilpatrick reached on an error as Coffelt’s throw was wide of first, putting runners on first and third. Gilpatrick stole second and they both came home on Kami Gibson’s single; she went to second on the throw home. That made it 2-1. Sally Briggs walked and Carli Rinehart bunted down the first base line and reached safely; Gibson scored from second and both Hunter Stevens (running for Sally Briggs) and Rinehart advanced on the throw home.

Rainey Fordyce grounded to Taylor Coffelt; she went home unsuccessfully as Hunter Stevens scored and Rinehart went to third. Fordyce stole second as Payton Craig came up. She popped out for the first out, but then Brandi Rivet reached on a fielder’s choice as NEN held the ball rather than let a run score. That opened up the floodgates as Audrey Briggs singled just over Coffelt into left and Emma Craig shot one up the middle to score two.

That finished Maggie Schmitz, but North Harrison greeted Blair Stoll with four more runs as Ashlyn Gilpatrick, Hunter Stevens, and Rainey Fordyce all singled to drive in runs to round out the scoring. In the fifth, Brandi Rivet singled and Audry Briggs and Emma Craig both doubled to start another big inning before Coach Brandon Craig had seen enough and ordered two of his runners to lead off prematurely to end the inning. Payton Craig struck out seven NEN batters in four innings for the win.

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