Pats hang on late to defeat Commodores, 13-9


LINCOLN CITY — Last night’s game started to look like a blowout as the Heritage Hills Patriots quickly put up ten straight runs on the visiting Perry Central Commodores. But the Commodores avoided getting run-ruled on two separate occasions after putting up eight runs in two innings to battle back from certain doom. However, the Patriots were able to settle down and make enough stops to keep the Commodores at bay and achieve victory 13-9.

Patriots (10-6-1, 3-1) coach Joe Asbury was proud of the way the players didn’t fall apart when the Commodores starting mounting their offensive charge. Instead he and the coaching staff left it to the girls to rally together and figure out what they needed to do in order to take back control of the game and get the win.

“If the other team puts some hits together, that’s where our kids have to show leadership, not doubt each other, and just keep playing,” he said. “They did that and the coaches didn’t overreact or underreact, we just let them take care of it.”

The Pats used the bottom of the first inning to launch their first offensive salvo. With one out and bases loaded sophomore shortstop Mallory Garrison plunked a base hit to send in senior second baseman Mariah Zoglman. Senior third baseman Lauren Caswell scored next on a passed ball, and a walk from junior first baseman Summer Weedman brought in junior left fielder Hayley Waniger. Another miscue at the plate allowed Garrison to come home and put the Patriots up 4-0 at the end of the first.

Six more would be added in the second inning, starting with a double from Caswell that scored Zoglman and freshman courtesy runner Hallie Harris. Then a throwing error at first base allowed Garrison to take second and gave Caswell a window to score the Pats’ seventh run. Sophomore center fielder Kyla Peter hit a double to drive in Waniger, and senior catcher Sierra Schipp scored Garrison with a single. Finally, a sac-fly from junior right fielder Sydney Richards brought in Peter and gave the Pats a 10-0 lead.

But the Commodores would strike back in the fourth starting with a triple from catcher Alana Schepers that drove in third baseman Calie Hauser and center fielder Karissa Gayer. First baseman Maria Hubert then clocked a single to bring in Schepers. However the Pats hit back with RBI singles from Zoglman and junior starter Emma Eubank as well as an RBI walk from Caswell in the bottom of the fourth to maintain a ten-run lead.

But the Commodores weren’t finished just yet. A double from Gayer in the top of the fifth scored shortstop Justice Cash and staved off the run rule for the second time. Then with two outs Schepers singled to send left fielder Maddie Labhart home. And finally Hubert launched a three-run homer over the fence that closed the gap 13-8 going into the sixth inning.

However, the rally would fall short. The Commodores had one final blast in the form of a solo homer from Calie Hauser in the seventh inning, but the Patriots came together and made the necessary defensive plays to get the outs they need to end the game.

Eubank allowed 10 hits for nine runs and had seven strikeouts in seven innings. Peter finished 3-for-3 with an RBI and Caswell went 2-for-4 with three RBI. Garrison had two RBI. Eubanks, Weedman, Schipp, Richards, and Zoglman each drove in a run.

Commodores starter Olivia Hauser allowed three hits, three walks, and four runs in the first inning. Jaelynn Etienne finished the rest of game allowing 12 hits, nine runs, fours walks, and a strikeout. Hubert finished 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI. Calie Hauser finished 2-for-4 with a homer.

“We came out really hot, we got a lead, then we dialed back a little bit,” said Caswell. “It happens sometimes, but we still came out on top.”

“We did pretty good offensive-wise and we made some pretty good plays,” added Eubank.

The win marked the end of a three-game skid for the Patriots, but they cannot afford to rest just yet. Asbury says that the month of May will be tough for them, but he believes the latter half of the Pats’ schedule will do a good job of adding some more seasoning to the team as they look forward to defending their sectional title in the coming postseason.

“That’s the way we want it to be, we want to prepare for the sectional,” said Asbury. “Hopefully we can play well in those conference games, and that’ll lead us into sectional. It’s all prepping and trying to reach our peak at the end of May.”

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