Friday, April 4th, 2008
Parkway rallies from early deficit for road victory
By Ryan Hines
Parkway's Dani Schoenleben, 1, slides safely into second base as Celina shortsto. . .
A five-run first inning wasn't enough for the Celina softball team.
Parkway shook off an early deficit and held Celina scoreless for the final six innings en route to a 6-5 road win at Eastview Park on a rainy and cold Thursday.
The Panthers jumped on top quickly against Celina freshman pitcher Amanda Hoying scoring three runs in the first inning with the benefit of just one hit.
Celina responded in the home half of the first frame scoring five runs on five hits off of Parkway's Sara King to take a 5-3 advantage.
That was all the offense that Celina could muster with just one hit over the final six innings against King and freshman relief pitcher Emily Crowell.
Parkway scored an unearned run in the third inning to pull to within one run at 5-4 and then took the lead for good in the fifth frame.
Hoying, who struggled to find the strike zone with six walks in three innings of work, was replaced on the hill by Bulldogs ace Laura Homan in the fourth inning. After tossing a scoreless fourth inning, Parkway was able to get to Homan in the fifth.
Parkway's Abbea Hoehamer reached base via a Celina error and King replaced her on first base following a fielder's choice. After the second out was recorded, Hannah Beougher tied the game for Parkway with a smash up the middle to score King. Beougher, who went to second base on a Celina throw to home plate trying to get King, then scored the go-ahead run for the Panthers after a Dani Schoenleben RBI single.
"We had a couple of girls that hit the ball hard to get us going with Abbea and Hannah. Then Dani, who is one of the best hitters in the area, delivered for us in the clutch tonight to give us the lead," said Parkway head coach Mark Esselstein.
With Parkway now in the lead, Esselstein relied on his freshman hurler to save the game for the Panthers and the youngster didn't disappoint.
Crowell pitched the final three innings of the game allowing no runs, no hits and just one walk while striking out six Bulldog hitters.
"Sara settled down after the first inning and shut them down from there and then Emily came in and threw the ball very well for a freshman," said Esselstein.
"They just shut us down after the first inning and they are a very good team and played like it," said Celina head coach Nicole Driggs. "There's no letdown when you play teams from the MAC (Midwest Athletic Conference). They have some good players over there and we wish them the best of luck."
It did look like Celina was going to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, but a defensive gem from the Parkway outfield sealed the win for the Panthers.
Sara Dorsten reached base via Crowell's only walk of the evening and moved to second base following a wild pitch as the rain began to fall much harder. Audrey Harner then launched a drive to deep centerfield, but Parkway's Courtney Davis made a sensational running catch over her shoulder for the second out. Crowell then registered a strikeout for the final out of the game.
"That catch by Courtney Davis in centerfield was awesome," said Esselstein. "I was telling the girls that one of the best catches of all-time was Willie Mays at the Polo Grounds, but they didn't have any clue to what I was talking about. The game would have been tied for sure and they would have had the game-winning run on base too, so it was a huge play for her to make. It was just awesome."
Driggs was equally impressed with Davis' crucial catch in center.
"She made a great play in centerfield," said Driggs. "Maybe that's routine for her, but for most people it's not. That pretty much shut that last inning down for us. It was a great play in a crucial part of the game. She deserves a lot of credit."