Facing local competition proved to be just the tonic for the Borgia softball Lady Knights this week.
Borgia (3-4) bounced back from an Archdiocesan Athletic Association rout Tuesday against St. Dominic, 16-0, to beat Pacific (1-4) Wednesday, 15-9, and St. Clair (1-2) Thursday, 9-2.
“Overall, it was good to take one step closer to .500,” Borgia Head Coach Stan Westhoff said. “If we can get there, I feel as though we may really take off.”
St. Clair did win once this week, topping Potosi Wednesday, 12-4.
Five runs in the first inning were all Borgia needed in its victory against the Lady Bulldogs.
“Basically, we had a relatively error-free game as compared to some in the past,” Westhoff said.
St. Clair scored one run in the first and in the second, but couldn’t keep up that pace as Borgia continued to score.
“We did not come out with the excitement that we needed to for such a big game,” St. Clair Head Coach Rob Hauck said. “We knew Borgia would be tough and that we needed to step it up, but unfortunately we were not able to bring our best game.“Our pitching was putting the ball across the plate early and we had a few errors that cost us some early runs. Bri Branscum came in relief and finished the game strong but we had dug too deep of a hole for us to get ourselves out of. We are continuing to learn and evolve and will get better as the season goes on.”
Borgia was led offensively by Taylor Nadler who went 3-4 (double) with three RBIs and one run scored.Madelyn Tuepker was 2-4 with two RBIs and she scored a run. Katelyn Gratza was 1-2 (double) with an RBI. She scored once and was walked. Megan Jensen had two RBIs on a sacrifice play. Kaylee Heggemann was 2-3 with a walk, two runs scored and a stolen base. Cali Witte had a hit and a stolen base. Elizabeth Westhoff also had a hit.
Also helpful in Borgia’s win was the team’s pitching and defense.Witte pitched a complete game, allowing two runs on five hits. She walked one batter and struck out six to earn the win.
“Cali Witte threw a very fine game,” Westhoff said. “She controlled the game with some key strike outs with runners in scoring position.”
Kelsey Lack started and pitched six innings for the Lady Bulldogs, allowing eight runs on 12 hits. She walked seven batters and struck out one.
Stephanie Stradford was 2-3 (double) with an RBI. Alicia York had one hit and drove in a run.
Other hits for the Lady Bulldogs came from Karissa Hoffman (triple), Branscum (double) and Lack.
Scoring four runs in the fifth and two in the sixth, Borgia broke a 9-9 tie to beat Pacific, 15-9
“We hope to build on this hard-fought victory,” Westhoff said. “It was encouraging that we came back, never giving up on believing in ourselves.”
Pacific jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first before Borgia responded with seven runs in the second. Pacific added one run in both the third and fourth innings, but Borgia matched those with two in the bottom of the fourth to make it 9-5.
Both teams scored four in the fifth for a score of 14-9, and Borgia added two more in the sixth for the final score.
“I was very disappointed with our play against Borgia,” Pacific Head Coach Tracy Lewis said. “We committed four errors in the field that were just back breakers. To give Borgia credit, their hitters were hitting everything we threw at them.”
The Lady Knights had 16 hits in the game, including a home run over the left field fence by Heggemann, who was 2-5 with two RBIs.
Westhoff went 3-5 with three RBIs. Nadler was 3-4 with two doubles, one that hit the top of the fence. Gratza drove in two runs on 1-3 hitting and a double.
Meagan Wakefield was the starting pitcher for Pacific. She allowed six runs on four hits in 1.2 innings of work. Amber Zurleine came in relief in the second and allowed seven runs on 10 hits in her 3.1 innings pitched. Marissa Tate pitched the final inning and allowed two runs on three hits.
“All three pitchers got some work and all three were giving up big hits,” Lewis said. “It was disappointing but the girls are learning something every game that we play and I anticipate us continuing to improve as the season goes on.”
Offensively, Pacific was led by Wakefield who was 3-4 (double) with 2 RBIs. Zurliene and Sierra Edmond both had two hits.
Rachel Boley was the starting pitcher for the Lady Knights and got the win, allowing three runs on one hit. She walked four batters and struck out three.Witte came in to pitch in the third inning. Witte allowed six runs on eight hits in her five innings of work while earning the win.
The Lady Knights committed six errors against Pacific, which Westhoff expressed some concern about.
“I thought that our defense was going to be a primary strength this year, but it has been inconsistent thus far,” Westhoff said. “Although, there are flashes of brilliance at times. The last two innings were examples of this when we got some fine fielding, especially from (Katelyn) Gratza in the sixth.”
The Lady Bulldogs got off to a quick start against Potosi, scoring three runs in the first inning and adding five more before ever giving up a run.
Potosi scored four runs in the fifth inning, but St. Clair matched those in the fifth.
“We were able to get out ahead early on and we never let up,” Hauck said. “The girls hit very well as a team and everyone played a part. Sarah Hinson came up with some very big hits and hit the ball very hard.”
Hinson was 2-3 with three RBIs and one walk. Tori Martin was 3-5 with three RBIs and two stolen bases and Hoffman went 2-4 with three RBIs. She hit a double and a triple.
“Defensively we played excellent and stepped up for Bri Branscum who pitched an excellent game,” Hauck said.
Branscum pitched a complete game and secured the win. She allowed four runs on eight hit and had six strikeouts.
“We showed up as a team and played the way we can, now we just as to make sure we do that every game,” Hauck said.
After giving up six runs over the first three innings, Borgia was berated with a 10-run fourth inning for the final score.
Witte was the starting pitcher for the Knights and earned the loss. She pitched 3.2 innings, allowing 16 runs on 11 hits. She walked four batters and had one strikeout.
Borgia only had four hits in the game. Jensen had two hits. Nadler and Michaela Morhaus each had one.
Borgia will face St. Dominic again Tuesday. The Lady Knights face Rosati-Kain Monday, host DuBourg Tuesday and play Duchesne Thursday.