With 4-2 Victory Over Humboldt
Things looked a little grim for Emmetsburg’s Lady E’Hawks in their Class 2A Regional title match last Thursday night. Three errors in one inning had put the Lady E’Hawks down by two runs after four innings in their contest against Humboldt, and like the setting sun, things were beginning to look a little gloomy for the Lady E’Hawks.
“I was kind of getting down there for a bit, but then these girls came out and lifted me right up,” admitted Head Coach Jeny Garst. “They just never quit and kept on fighting like they have all season long.”
That never-say-die attitude paid off in spades for the Lady E’Hawks, as they rode a three-run, four-hit fifth inning rally with two outs to pull out a thrilling 4-2 win over the Wildcats to advance to the State Softball Tournament this week.
As the home team on Thursday, the Lady E’Hawks opened with a base hit by Tiffany Wollum, only to have her thrown out on a double play to end the at-bat. However, humboldt also went down in order after a base hit, when their runner was thrown out at second on a steal attempt.
The two teams traded outs in the second inning, but in the third, things went Humboldt’s way. Back-to-back errors put two Wildcat runners on base before a base hit would load the sacks. Another error and an RBI sacrifice would allow the Wildcats to take a 2-0 lead, as Emmetsburg was rocked by the miscues.
In the bottom of the third, Emmetsburg tried to rally, leading off with a single by Morgan Vlasman, but the first baseman was left waiting at second when the inning ended.
Humboldt would get a base hit in the top of the fourth, but Emmetsburg’s defense held firm and shut the Wildcats down. The Lady E’Hawks would get Tiffany Wollum on base off an error, but a fielders’ choice on Nichole Hasbrouck’s at-bat would take Wollum out at second before stranding Hasbrouck when the inning ended.
The Wildcats would open the fifth with a base hit, and after two outs, a second base hit put runners at the corners for Humboldt. However, Emmetsburg’s Jenny Hoch fielded an infield hit and relayed it across the diamond to Morgan Vlasman at first for the out to end the threat.
Emmetsburg came up to bat in the bottom of the fifth, still trailing by two runs. Maddison Woodruff hit a fly ball to center and Vlasman hit a fly ball to right field as things started to look bleak for the Lady E’Hawks.
But with two out, the rally magic appeared.
Caitlin Wise rapped out a sharp single and was followed on base by Kendall Corley, who duplicated the single. An error on Jenny Hoch’s at-bat brought Wise to third, where she slowed and then poured on the coals to beat a throw home for a score. A second straight error, on Tiffany Wollum’s at-bat, brought Corley over the plate. Nichole Hasbrouck stepped up to the plate and pounded out a base hit to score Hoch for the go-ahead run, but Hasbrouck would be left waiting at first when Alex Lock was struck out to end the inning.
Humboldt would lead off the top of the sixth inning with a double, and got a walk to put runners on first and second before Maddison Woodruff tallied two strikeouts, and then induced a fielders’ choice to get the putout at second base to end the at-bat.
Once again, Emmetsburg came up to bat in the bottom of the sixth, and quickly went down by two outs as Janna Hoch hit a fly ball to second base and Woodruff hit a line drive to third.
Morgan Vlasman stepped in with two away and promptly sent the ball to the center field fence for a standing double. Caitlin Wise came up and promptly rapped a double to the right center field fence, allowing Vlasman to score. However, Wise tried to stretch the double into a triple and was tagged on her way to third for the third out, but only after Vlasman’s run had given Emmetsburg a 4-2 lead to start the seventh and decisive inning.
Humboldt quickly went down two outs in their at-bat, as the Emmetsburg defense turned the screws. But, a base hit with two outs threatened to change everything. However, Woodruff calmly looked in to battery-mate Alex Lock and took batter Alex Craw to a full count before delivering the game winning strikeout.
Gloves flew in the air as the Lady E’Hawks began their celebration to the cheers of the Emmetsburg fans.
Maddison Woodruff would collect the win for Emmetsburg, as she went seven innings and faced 30 batters, striking out six and issuing one walk, allowing six hits and two runs, both un-earned.
Humboldt’s Amber Danielson took the loss, going six innings while striking out two and giving up four runs, three earned, off seven hits.
For Emmetsburg, Morgan Vlasman and Caitlin Wise led the hitting with a double nd single each, while Kendall Corley, Nichole Hasbrouck and Tiffany Wollum all added base hits to the effort.
“The competition that we’ve played here in the Regional tournament has been very good,” Coach Garst noted, “These girls work really hard, and they dedicate themselves to this sport. They definitely deserve everything they’re earning.”
Emmetsburg’s last appearance in the State Softball Tournament came in the summer of 1993, when the Lady E’Hawks earned a fourth place finish.