GAME OF THE WEEK (April 10–16)
SWAL SOFTBALL: Fennimore 11, Darlington 8 (8 innings)
DARLINGTON — The Fennimore softball team notched a pair of thrilling comeback victories last week to improve to 2–3 on the season.
Tuesday afternoon the Golden Eagles broke loose for five runs in the top of the fifth inning to rally from a 3–1 deficit and held off a seventh-inning rally from host Richland Center to score a 6–5 non-conference victory.
Two days later, coach Jim Prochaska’s club fell behind 8–0 after five innings, but mounted a comeback for the ages to stun the host Darlington Redbirds 11–8 in eight innings.
Fennimore scored four runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings to force extras, then tacked on three more in the top of the eighth to compete the comeback.
“It was nice to see us start hitting the ball,” said Prochaska of Thursday’s thrilling comeback at Darlington. “We were used to faster pitcher up to that point of the season and in the first few innings we were out in front of their pitcher and popped it up or hit weak ground balls. It took us until the sixth inning until we really started to put some hits together, but a lot of those were extra base hits.
“That was a fun game. The girls didn’t quit and Bailey Kreul came in and did an awesome job pitching. We had a couple errors in the fourth inning that hindered our starting pitcher Taylor Rerretti, but the defense played well the rest of the game. That was real a good win for us.”
Darlington scored single runs in the first and second, plated three in the fourth and three more in the fifth to build an 8–0 lead chase Ferretti from the game.
Fennimore finally got the timing on Darlington’s Alyssa Tuescher, who was effectively wild through five shutout innings.
Sophomore Madlin Glasbrenner led off the sixth with a walk and junior Ashley Lang followed with an RBI double to drive in Fennimore’s first run.
Walks to Ferretti and senior Taylor Hestetune were sandwiched between two outs, but sophomore Alexis Adkins cleared the bases with a two-out three-run double to make it 8–4.
Darlington got the first two outs of the seventh on a pair of fly balls to left and first base, but a single by Gommel and back-to-back walks to Ferretti and Hestetune loaded the bases.
Senior Cassara Bray followed with a two-run single to make it 8–6 and Adkins lined another two-run, two-out single to tie it at 8–8. Fennimore stranded runners on second and third.
Darlington’s Bethany McDonald led off the bottom of the seventh with a double, but Kreul got out of the jam with a strikeout looking, a fly out to shortstop and a pop up to first base to extend the game.
Glasbrenner and Lang singled to open the Fennimore eighth, while Ferretti knocked in Glasbrenner for the go-ahead run. Bray followed with a two-run single to make it 11–8. A double play got Darlington out of the inning without further damage.
Darlington put a runner on in the bottom of the eighth with a one-out single but the next batter hit a soft floater to Glasbrenner at second base, who made a diving catch and then tossed the ball to first for a game-ending double play.
Kreul (2–1) picked up her second victory of the season, holding the Redbirds scoreless on three hits in four innings of work. She struck out four.
Bray finished 3-for-4 with four RBIs and Adkins went 2-for-5 with five RBI.
Ferretti (2x3), Brianna Gommel (2x5) and Lang (2x5) also had multi-hit games for Fennimore in the win.
Fennimore 11, Darlington 8
(from Thursday, April 12 @ Darlington)
Fennimore 000 004 43 — 11 13 3
Darlington 110 330 00 — 8 12 1
Leading hitters — F: Alexi Adkins 2x5, Taylor Ferretti 2x3, Brianna Gommel 2x5, Ashley Lang 2x5, Cassarra Bray 3x4; D: Bethany McDonald 3x4, Chloe Muhlstein 2x5, Holly Ray 2x2. 2B — F: Adkins, Lang; D: Ray. 3B — D: Jacobson.
W — Bailey Kreul (2–1, 4IP, 3H, 0R, 4K, 1BB). L — Alyssa Tuescher (8IP, 13H, 11R, 11ER, 3K, 8BB).