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Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

St. Henry's hot streak continues

By Mark Ruschau

St. Henry pitcher Michelle Stout turns and fires the ball to first base for an o. . .

ST. HENRY - The St. Henry Redskins softball team continued their winning ways Monday afternoon by rallying twice to defeat the Parkway Panthers 4-3 In Midwest Athletic Conference action at the Wally Post Athletic Complex.
St. Henry, which has won three of four, improves to 5-3 overall and 2-0 in the conference while Parkway falls to 6-2 on the spring and 1-1 in the MAC.
The Redskins employed the same formula Monday night that has been the key to their recent success: timely hitting, great defense and solid pitching.
Redskin starting pitcher Michelle Stout allowed three runs on seven hits in pitching the complete game, striking out three batters and walking just one.
Stout's mates were solid behind her defensively as they didn't commit an error for the second consecutive conference game. The Redskins' outfield of Kenzie Bruggeman, Brittany Osterholt and Olivia Hart each made great defensive plays as well behind Stout.
"I think the girls came in today really focused and that is something you have to do when you play a team like Parkway in a conference game," said St. Henry coach Josh Link. "We were able to rally back twice and it was a matter of the girls making plays. The defense was solid all the way round.
"You cannot say enough about the way Michelle pitched today," continued Link. "There were a couple of times where she could of been rattled, but she did not show it and she kept battling. Once she realized that the defense was playing behind her, she made the pitches that she had to make."
"I know that they made at least four great defensive plays in just the last two innings, at least two of them would of been extra-base hits," said Parkway coach Mark Esselstein. "They just kept making plays. When you hit the ball hard and they make the plays, you have to tip your hat to them and they made every defensive play that they had to make."
Parkway jumped on Stout for a pair of runs in the opening inning. Courtney Davis led off the game with a double, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a two-out triple by Megan Ketchum. Ketchum later scored on a passed ball.
St. Henry came back and tied the game in the third. Lindie Kaup doubled to the gap in right-centerfield, went to third on a bunt single by Brittany Bayless and scored on a fielder's choice by Brittany Rutschilling, who then stole second and scored on a single by Rachel Borgerding.
Parkway regained the lead in the fourth as Chelsie O'Neill singled with one out. Courtesy runner Jamie Guggenbiller, running for O'Neill, stole second, moved to third on a sharp single by Theah Bourelle and scored on a bounce out by Emily Crowell.
The Parkway rally in the fourth was to be the extent of the Panthers' offense for the rest of the day as Stout allowed just two more runners the rest of the game, which were erased on a double play and caught stealing as the last 11 Panthers went down in order.
Again, the bottom of the St. Henry batting order fueled the game-winning rally in the fifth as Bayless, hitting in the ninth spot in the order, singled and went to second when Rutschiling's fly ball was dropped in centerfield. After an infield hit by Bruggeman, Borgerding came up huge again as she singled two runs home to give her team the lead for good.
St. Henry takes to the road today traveling to Russia while Parkway is also on the road today, traveling to Lincolnview.
Additional online story on this date
MINSTER - With several teaching positions to be filled, the Minster Local Schools board of education is hoping to find qualified candidates with coaching experience in football and volleyball. The news apparently came as a surprise to the current football coach. [More]
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