Both teams squandered four-run leads, but in the end, host New Haven managed to push the winning run across the plate in Four Rivers Conference action against St. Clair Tuesday afternoon.
Playing at New Haven’s Lions Field, the Lady Shamrocks got a run from Brande Kubiak on a two-out single by Claire Laune to win the game, 12-11.
The win sparked a three-game winning streak for the Lady Shamrocks with victories over Wellsville Wednesday and Owensville Thursday.
“These have been three really good wins for us and it is always nice to get a couple conference wins,” New Haven Head Coach Tim Scheer said.
Tuesday’s game might have been the most exciting of the three.
“The St. Clair game went back and forth a couple times but I was very proud of my girls for not giving up when we got behind early in the game,” New Haven Head Coach Tim Scheer said. “Ryan Stutzman came in the third inning to hold St. Clair to four runs, none of which were earned. Claire Laune had the big walk-off hit with two outs in the seventh to win the game.”
New Haven improved to 1-2 overall and 1-0 in the Four Rivers Conference with the win. The game was St. Clair’s season opener due to rainouts.
“It was a fun, exciting game,” St. Clair Head Coach Garan McCuskey said. “I took away many positives from our game. Though we left bases loaded three times and twice with a couple runners on, we put ourselves in scoring opportunities. That’s a good thing.”
The game featured a bit of everything from big lead swings to a grand slam by St. Clair’s Mikayla Weirich and even New Haven Athletic Director Ray Steinhoff working hard to try and fix the scoreboard while the game was being played.
St. Clair jumped on top first, scoring two runs in the top of the opening frame. New Haven tied it in the bottom of the first.
Weirich’s grand slam in the top of the second put the Lady Bulldogs up, 6-2, but New Haven gathered three runs in the bottom of the inning and tied it in the bottom of the third.
In the fourth, St. Clair again went up, 7-6, but New Haven erupted for five runs in the bottom of the inning.
Leading 11-7, it was New Haven’s turn to watch a four-run lead evaporate. St. Clair cut it to 11-9 in the top of the fifth and tied it in the top of the seventh.
Line drives to left field and second base had ended a New Haven rally attempt in the bottom of the sixth and Andi Ingle made a snag of a Mackenzie Wilson liner at third to start the bottom of the seventh.
Kubiak and Stutzman then reached before Kamryn Poe hit a pop foul for the second out, setting up the final drama.
Neither team’s starting pitcher, New Haven’s Madison Langenberg or St. Clair’s Madelyn Ruszala, figured in the decision.
Langenberg went 3.1 innings, allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits and six walks while striking out three.
Ruszala also went 3.1 innings, allowing nine runs (six earned) on nine hits and six walks. She struck out one.
“I’m pleased with Madelyn Ruszala and her first varsity outing in the circle,” McCuskey said.
Stutzman went 3.2 innings to earn the win. She allowed four unearned runs on five hits and five walks over 3.2 innings. Stutzman fanned three.
Trisa Buffer moved from center field to pitcher and took the loss for the Lady Bulldogs. She allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits and three walks. She struck out three.
“Trisa Buffer relieved Madelyn midgame and did a great job the remainder of the game,” McCuskey said.
Offensively, Poe, Stutzman and Maya Wideman each had three hits for the Lady Shamrocks. Wilson ended with two while Kubiak, Langenberg and Laune had one hit apiece.
Stutzman and Wideman doubled while Wideman tripled.
Laune walked three times while Alexis Sidwell drew two walks. Kubiak, Langenberg and Wideman each walked once.
Sidwell added a sacrifice.
Wideman scored three of the runs. Laune and Wilson each scored twice. Kubiak, Langenberg, Poe, Sidwell and Stutzman scored once.
For the Lady Bulldogs, Ingle and Ashlynn Keltz each had three hits. Weirich and Macalyn LaCrone each had two hits. Emma Davis, Layla Dobyns, Madelyn Jones and Ruszala had one hit apiece.
Davis and Ingle doubled. Weirich hit the grand slam.
Weirich drew three walks. Dobyns and Ruszala each walked twice. Buffer, Davis and Ingle walked once.
Buffer, Ingle, LaCrone, Keltz and Weirich each stole a base.
Weirich scored three times. Ingle and Keltz each scored twice. Buffer, Morgan Juergens and Current Smith scored once.
Weirich drove in four runs. Davis, Ingle and LaCrone had two RBIs apiece. Dobyns drove in one run.
“We will work to clean things up defensively, but all-in-all, I’m pleased with our first game,” McCuskey said. “It was nice to get out there and play.”
Stutzman threw a five-hit shutout Wednesday as the Lady Shamrocks (2-2) won 7-0 at Wellsville in a rescheduled game.
Stutzman also allowed three walks while striking out seven.
“Ryan Stutzman pitched another good game allowing no runs, on six hits,” Scheer said. “We had a big game offensively by Mackenzie Wilson, who was 4-4, and Madison Langenberg, who was 3-4.”
New Haven scored four times in the first, once in the second and twice in the fifth while shutting out the host team.
Wilson led the offense with four hits while Langenberg had three and Wideman added two hits. Stutzman had one hit. One of Langenberg’s hits was a double.
Kubiak and Poe drew walks.
Wilson scored two runs. Wideman, Meagan Holtmeyer, Kubiak, Stutzman and Poe each scored once.
Stutzman had two RBIs while Wilson and Langenberg each drove in one.
The Lady Shamrocks improved to 3-2 overall, 2-0 in the FRC, with a 7-5 home win over Owensville Thursday.
New Haven again fell behind by four runs in the top of the first.
“We were down by four after the top of the first but our girls didn’t quit,” Scheer said.
The Lady Shamrocks chipped back with a run in the first and one in the second. Owensville scored its final run in the third.
The Lady Shamrocks added two in the third, two in the fourth and a final run in the bottom of the sixth.
Wilson led the offense with three hits, a run and two RBIs. Kubiak and Sidwell each had two hits, one run and two RBIs. Holtmeyer and Wideman had the other two hits.
Langenberg started pitching for New Haven, but came out after two-thirds of an inning. Stutzman went 6.1 innings, allowing one run on four hits while striking out two for the win.
“Ryan Stutzman came in to pitch in the top of the first inning and only gave up one run the rest of the game,” Scheer said. “Mackenzie Wilson had another good game with three hits and two RBIs, Brande Kubiak had two hits and two RBIs and so did Lexi Sidwell.”
New Haven Tournament
Two weeks ago, rain postponed the New Haven Tournament. It’s been reset for this Saturday with half of the teams.
The four-team event will run as a round-robin at Lions Field and Bock Field.
Joining the Lady Shamrocks are Hermann, St. James and Belle.
New Haven plays its games at Lions Field, starting with a 9 a.m. game with Belle. The Lady Shamrocks play Hermann at 10:45 a.m. and St. James at 12:30 p.m.
At Bock Field, Hermann plays St. James at 9 a.m. St. James plays Belle at 10:45 a.m. and Belle plays Hermann in the 12:30 p.m.
With the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon expected to pass through the area, there’s a chance the tournament could be called off again due to weather. If that happens, Steinhoff said it’s likely the tournament won’t be rescheduled.