With a win sandwiched between two losses, the Borgia softball Lady Knights placed sixth at Saturday’s Union Tournament.
Borgia (1-3) opened the tournament with a 10-2 loss to Pacific, but came back to beat the host school, 14-8. That reversed the result from the season opener last Thursday (5-0 Union win).
In the final round, Farmington won third place with an 18-2 win over the Lady Knights.
“I was proud of the way the girls did not give up an at-bat in any of the games,” Borgia Head Coach Stan Westhoff said. “They battled until the end, even in games in which we were down. This is a better start to the season than last year in that we did not win a game in the Union Tournament last year.”
Westhoff feels the win should help the team.
“We need to build on the success we had so far and understand that a bad loss does not define us any more than your best win in a season,” Westhoff said.
Borgia jumps back into action with a busy week. The Lady Knights opened Archdiocesan Athletic Association action Tuesday against St. Dominic. Borgia hosts Pacific Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. and St. Clair Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
“We have a very busy week this week and next with seven games in 10 weekdays,” Westhoff said. “The test tonight against St. Dominic will be big because they have been the conference champs the last few years. They are always tough and then we have Pacific again which will be a tough battle as well as St. Clair, which is a very improved team since the last time we saw them. It will be a tough week.”
The highlight of the Union Tournament was the 14-8 win over Union in the consolation semifinals Saturday afternoon.
“The Union game was amazing for us because we kept coming back to tie or take a small lead,” Westhoff said. “I wish I knew which switch to push to turn the hitting on, but it was the key to this game.”
Borgia led 3-2 after one inning, 4-3 after two innings and was tied at the close of three, 5-5.
Union went on top in the fourth, but Borgia responded with three runs in the bottom of that frame.
Up 8-7 going to the bottom of the fifth, Borgia put the game away with a six-run rally. Union scored its final run in the top of the seventh.
Rachel Boley was the winning pitcher, allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits and eight walks. She walked four.
Cali Witte picked up the save, going 1.1 innings. She allowed one run on two hits and two walks.
Offensively, Katelyn Gratza and Elizabeth Westhoff each had three hits.
Gratza tripled, scored three times and drove in three.
Westhoff scored three runs and drove in one.
Witte posted two hits with two runs and two RBIs. One of her hits was a double.
Kaylee Heggemann had one hit, a double, and drove in four runs. She scored once.
Taylor Nadler doubled and scored. Madelyn Tuepker singled, walked and scored.
Boley singled, walked and drove in two runs. Payton Keene doubled, scored twice and drove in one. Boley and Keene sacrificed.
Megan Jensen scored a run.
Starting the tournament, Borgia was in good shape in the middle of the fourth.
The Lady Knights were tied with Pacific, 1-1. But Pacific scored six times in the bottom of the fourth and went on to win, 10-2.
Witte pitched and took the loss, allowing 10 runs (four earned) on 10 hits and five walks. She struck out two.
Offensively, Heggemann had two hits and two walks.
Batters with one hit apiece were Boley, Gratza, Nadler, Jensen and Tuepker.
Boley doubled. Michaela Morhaus and Tuepker scored the runs. Morhaus and Heggemann walked.
Borgia’s final game in the event ended in an 18-2 loss to Farmington for third place.
Borgia started strong with two runs in the bottom of the first. But that’s where the highlights stopped.
Farmington scored eight times in the second, four in the third and six in the fourth to win the contest.
Borgia helped the Knightettes with six errors.
Jensen and Nadler each had two hits. Jensen doubled and drove in a run. Nadler doubled, scored and stole a base.
Witte had Borgia’s other hit. She scored and stole a base.
Morhaus took the loss, going 1.1 innings. She allowed eight runs (four earned) on eight hits and one walk.
Witte pitched 2.2 innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits and one walk. She struck out two.
Boley recorded one out while allowing five runs (four earned) on one hit and three walks.
“We started out all right in the other two games, but errors and unlucky hitting worked against us,” Westhoff said. “Ultimately, the heat wore our pitching down and Farmington is a very good team. They were hitting bullets all over the field, nothing cheap.”