The softball seasons for Emmetsburg and West Bend-Mallard opened Monday night in an epic battle of county teams. When the final out was recorded, though, Emmetsburg had earned a 5-4 victory over the Lady Wolverines.
The meeting quickly became a pitchers' duel through three innings between West Bend-Mallard's MacKenzie Grimm and Emmetsburg's Faith Schmidt. The scoring deadlock would end in the bottom of the fourth inning after Emmetsburg had gone down by two outs. With Teegan Olson on base off a fielders' choice, Miranda Vlasman rapped out a single before a two-run single from Jacque Carlson would give Emmetsburg the 2-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth, West Bend-Mallard answered with a vengeance. A quick strikeout was followed by a walk and back-to-back errors by the Emmetsburg defense that allowed Kaley Lempke and Sarah Berte to scamper home to tie the game, with Cassie Gearhart waiting at first.
Courtesy runner Emily Bonnstetter got dirty as she slid in to score Emmetsburg’s first run Monday night, while WBM?catcher Jessica Abrahamson waited for the throw. --Dan Voigt photo
Pinch runner Amber Schmidt stole second and moved to third off a sacrifice by Kayla Banwart, but with two outs, MacKenzie Grimm sent a shot over the right-field fence for a two-run home run to give West Bend-Mallard the 4-0 advantage over Emmetsburg.
The Lady Wolverines would get two more runners on base before the at-bat ended.
Emmetsburg needed to answer and wasted little time in the bottom of the fifth. Kendall Deitering led off with a base hit and moved to second off a passed ball before Aly Berven pounded a shot to the right field fence for an RBI?triple. A fielders' choice put Kaity Degen on base before a sacrifice by Faith Schmidt scored Berven's run to tie the game at 4-4. With one out, Michaela Rehm struck out, but Teegan Olson drilled a double to center field that allowed Degen to score the go-ahead run before the inning ended after a pitching change.
The two defenses settled in, with WBM?going down in order in the top of the sixth and returning the favor to the Lady E-Hawks. In the top of the seventh, an error put Sarah Berte on base, but Cassie Gearhart was put out at first and a foul pop-up by Kayla Banwart was caught by catcher Miranda Vlasman for two outs.
MacKenzie Grimm drew a walk, but was left waiting when Courtney Bargman was struck out to end the game in the 5-4 win for Emmetsburg.
Faith Schmidt got the win, allowing four runs, two earned, off three hits, including the home run shot, with six strikeouts and two walks in seven innings.
MacKenzie Grimm was tagged with the loss in four and two-thirds frames, allowing five runs, four earned, off five hits with six strikeouts and four walks. Courtney Bargman relieved for one and a third innings, and earned one strikeout.
Grimm had the home run shot and Jessica Abrahamson had two hits, while Aly Berven had a triple, Teegan Olson had a double, Jacque Carlson had two hits and Faith Schmidt added a single.