Tuesday, May 1st, 2007
Flyers rally behind Droesch home run
By Robb Hemmelgarn
MINSTER - With the postseason rapidly approaching, the Marion Local Flyers and Minster Wildcats both took to the softball diamond in Minster yesterday hoping to give themselves an end-of-season kickstart.
Powered by an inside-the-park home run by Kim Droesch in the third inning, the Flyers did just that and clung on to a 3-2 victory, which pushed their record to 7-9 overall and 2-3 in the Midwest Athletic Conference. The loss was Minster's ninth on the season in 11 outings, and they are still winless in the MAC at 0-4.
"Tonight I was very pleased with our defense," commented Flyer head coach Gary Moeder. "We got down early in the game and we didn't give up. I give a lot of credit to Minster though, they hit the ball well and they were able to control our bats. We've been doing a good job of knocking in our runners in scoring position, but tonight we left seven runners stranded, and that's something we need to improve on."
The Flyers were the first to dent the scoreboard when Nicole Eilerman tripled off Wildcat starter Janel Baumer in the second inning before scoring a few moments later on a single by Kensey Schwieterman.
The Flyers held their 1-0 lead until the bottom of the same frame when Baumer and Jodie Quinter both reached base on a Flyer fielding error. Both runners scored on consecutive base hits by Allison Thieman and Laura Timmerman, and the home team rallied ahead, 2-1.
Marion Local responded in its next turn at the plate when Tara Hartings reached base on an error with two outs. Kim Droesch then stepped in and sent Baumer's offering deep into centerfield. She glided around the bases and didn't stop until she hit home plate and her team was in charge, 3-2.
That is how things ended in the scoring column, as the defenses for both squads took center stage from there.
"I could not have asked for a better game tonight in the field," said Wildcat head coach Michelle Pleiman. "Our pitchers stayed in control much of the game, but at the plate we struggled at times. We hit the ball well, but Marion's defense looked great - some games the balls we did connect on will fall, but tonight they just didn't for us."
Michelle Fleck, who went the distance on the hill for the Flyers, threw a gem from the third stanza on, as she allowed just two base hits and a pair of base runners. Fleck's efforts were aided by outstanding defense, particularly from the outfield that recorded two outstanding catches and three putouts on throws to the bases.
On the flip side, the Minster hurlers were equally impressive. After Baumer's glitch in the second and third innings, she finished after four complete frames in which she allowed five hits, but struck out five batsmen. Megan Stueve took over in relief and in three innings of work, she allowed two base hits and sat five Flyers down with strikeouts.
"With tournament at the end of the week and several league games left to play, we need to improve on coming out and staying focused," added Pleiman. "We need to concentrate on small things defensively and on offense, we have to have someone step up and record clutch hits with runners in scoring position."
The Flyers are back in action this afternoon at Fort Loramie, while Minster is scheduled to travel to Wapakoneta on Thursday.