By Mark Ruschau
HUBER HEIGHTS -- The New Bremen Cardinals softball team added another chapter to their historic 2005 season on Wednesday afternoon as they rallied from a three-run hole scoring four runs in the bottom of the seventh to defeat the Bradford Railroaders, 6-5, in the Division IV regional softball tournament opener at Wayne High School
New Bremen will take a 19-7 mark in to Saturday's final at noon against either West Liberty Salem or Triad, which battle this afternoon at Wayne High School. Bradford bows out at 21-9.
"I'm just elated for the girls," said New Bremen coach Craig Griesdorn. "They have had that 'no quit' attitude all year. They just don't quit. We have come back from this deficit before, it was just a matter of never saying die."
The New Bremen rally actually started with a pair of runs in the fifth. Trailing 5-0 with one out, Julie Griesdorn walked, stole second and scored on a triple by Morgan Cox. Cox scored the second run of the inning to cut the deficit to 5-2.
After going down in order in the sixth, the Cardinals had six straight reach base in the bottom of the seventh to produce the comeback. Jennifer Dick started the inning with a walk and scored on a Griesdorn triple to make the score 5-3.
Cox then made the score 5-4 as she singled to right and Cox scored from second when Bradford shortstop Brit Reed threw the ball away at home trying to keep Cox from scoring.
After a walk to Elly Cisco to load the bases, Julie Steineman hit a groundball to second, Bradford second baseman Katrina Dunleavy fired a seed to third baseman Swab for what looked like a force play on but the umpires called interference on Bradford shortstop Reed loading the bases. Audrey Michael then came up huge as she lined a single to center to score the winning runs.
"I told the girls that we needed three and I told lead-off hitter Jennifer Dick to make the pitcher throw a strike and she threw four straight balls," said Griesdorn. "I told Julie to do the same thing and make her get behind in the count and she was able to get a triple.
"We got a break on the interference but we still we had to do something with it and Audrey battled and got the big hit," added Griesdorn.
The New Bremen rally was necessary as Bradford scored five times in the second and fourth innings to take a 5-0 lead. In the fourth, Bradford sent 10 batters to the plate scoring four times.
"Julie started to struggle in the fourth inning and we already were trailing 2-0 so we replaced her," said Griesdorn. "We knew they were going to score runs and they got got some good at-bats in that inning and so we felt that if we could hold them we would be okay because we were getting base hits it was just a mater of bunching them together."