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Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Cavaliers softball makes rally in final two innings

By Mark Ruschau

Coldwater's Cayla Wood, back, makes a grab in rightfield for an out during the C. . .

COLDWATER - The Coldwater softball team opened the Midwest Athletic Conference portion of the schedule in dramatic fashion scoring five times in their last two plate appearances to rally and beat the Fort Recovery Indians 5-4 Monday afternoon.
With the win, Coldwater improves to 6-2 overall while the loss drops the Indians to 2-6 overall.
Trailing 4-0 entering the fifth inning, the Cavs got on the board as Robin Buschur reached second on a two-base throwing error by Indians shortstop Heather Schmackers and then scored on a single by Kelsey Lefeld.
The sixth-inning rally for Coldwater got under way with a Haley Stucke single and a steal of second base before and scoring when Paula Howell's single to center was bobbled by the centerfielder. Howell went to second on the Fort Recovery error before Jessie Welsch brought her home with an RBI single.
After Katie Muhlenkamp and Theresa Hess reached on infield hits to load the bases, Nikki Heyne reached first and drove in the tying run with a fielder's choice when Indian pitcher Beth Mays threw home but was late trying to force Welsch at the plate.
Buschur then gave the Cavaliers the lead as she blooped a single just out of the reach of the Indians middle infielders.
"We hit the ball hard the first four innings but we hit the ball right at people," said Coldwater coach Jeff Kerr. "In the sixth inning we were able to get a couple of hits, ground balls went through the infield and we got a couple of bloop hits. Our girls never quit and as a coach you have to like that."
Even though her team suffered a tough loss, Fort Recovery coach Marie Osterholt was pleased with the way her team played.
"I think in the last two innings it was a just a matter of them catching up to Beth's pitches a little," said Osterholt. "I guess I should of put of Kinsey Wenning in there to pitch a little bit sooner. I don't know, but still I'm proud of the way they played the whole way through, we played good defense, we hit the ball well, we just played a great game."
The Indians did indeed look strong early as they took advantage of some shoddy defensive play by Coldwater to put three runs on the board in the first inning.
Joanna Snyder singled to start the game and went all the way to third when the throw from the leftfielder sailed into the first base dugout. After a Schmackers strikeout, Val Fortkamp plated the first run of the game with a base hit. Ashley Grube then reached on an error, with Fortkamp taking third. Both runners moved up 60 feet on a wild pitch with Fortkamp scoring the second run of the game. Kelly Sudhoff then reached on a wild pitch after a third strike with Grube taking third. Grube then scored the final run of the frame when she and Sudhoff pulled off a double steal.
After the first inning, Welsch and the rest of the Cavaliers settled into the game as they would not commit an error the rest of the way and Welsch allowed just five hits and a run over last six innings.
"I thought in the beginning of the game the girls were a little lax in their mental preparedness," said Kerr. "The first inning woke us up and after that, we made the plays that we were capable of and we stayed in the game until our bats came around."
Coldwater is back in action on Thursday playing host to Versailles in another conference tussle. Fort Recovery returns tonight traveling to Portland, Ind. to take on Jay County.
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