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Friday, May 4th, 2012

Wildcats rally to edge Redskins

By Robb Hemmelgarn

Minster's Hanna Floyd, left, stretches to tag out St. Henry's Sarah Moeder on a. . .

MINSTER - With each passing week of the 2012 softball season, the Minster Wildcats continue to carve their name in the softball record books as the most dominant in school history.
Last evening at Four Seasons Park, Scott Robinson's girls logged their 20th win of the season while improving to 5-1 in the Midwest Athletic Conference with an exciting 4-3 victory over Melissa Starkey's St. Henry Redskins.
"It has been awhile since we have beaten St. Henry, so I am very happy for the seniors tonight," smiled Robinson. "It is a great time of year to get a taste of a big win. We aren't in the groove yet that we were in before Hanna Floyd was injured, but now that she is back, we are still getting good pitching from Kayla and our defense is also playing well."
The visiting team drew first blood in their initial at-bat, as shortstop Ashley Heitkamp popped a single off of Minster's starting hurler Kayla Richard. A few moments later, Sarah Moeder pushed Heitkamp home with an RBI single to put their team in command, 1-0. The Redskins extended their advantage in the second inning when Richard's offering plunked Ally Mikesell in the foot, advancing her to first base. Mikesell later scored following an error by the Wildcat defense and St. Henry maintained their two-run advantage through the bottom of the third inning.
  With one out, Marissa Conrad lit the fuse in the home half of the third frame with a base hit. Senior shortstop Hannah Floyd then cracked a single, which was followed by another from centerfielder Sarah Hosey. With the bases juiced and cleanup hitter Stephanie Albers digging into the batter's box, Redskin's starting pitcher Sidney Rindler issued her second walk of the game, plating Conrad. An RBI single by Jayden Hahn knotted the contest at two while seemingly swinging the momentum back into the hands of the Wildcats.
"What hurt us the most tonight is that for some reason, we are pressing at the plate and we are just not making solid contact," explained Starkey. "That is unfortunate because I think we had several opportunities to score more runs and we just couldn't get the bat on the ball."
  Unfazed by losing their lead, St. Henry answered in the fourth when Kinzie Kessen connected for a base hit and later scored on a wild pitch. In a one-run hole, the Orange and Black stayed quiet until the bottom of the fifth when Floyd and Hosey spear-headed the inning with a pair of base hits. Floyd quickly scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Albers, and Conrad put her team in charge soon after when Regan Hahn connected for her initial hit of the game. Working with her first lead, Richard allowed only one hit in the final two innings to help preserve Minster's second triumph in as many days.
"We started the season on fire and I just talked to the girls about getting that winning mentality back," Starkey commented. "We need to figure out what they are doing right and wrong - with the tournament coming, we can't afford to slip."
Floyd led Minster's ten-hit attack with three singles, while Hosey added two in the victory. The Wildcats return to action tonight under the lights at Four Seasons Park when they host the Wapakoneta Redskins with the first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. St. Henry (13-5, 4-2) returns to the diamond today as well when they host the Anna Rockets.
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