When a team can put 12 batters at the plate in one inning, it’s a pretty sure bet they end up leading the game. That’s just what the Beckman softball team did against Northeast July 12 at home before winning the regional semifinal game, 10-6.
The win propels the Blazers to the regional final against second-ranked Durant at their home field July 15 (see story on page 1B).
And that inning? It was the fourth and the Blazers put up two outs to start, lulling the Rebels into thinking they were just about out of the inning. So much for that thought. Kamryn Klas drew a walk and Emily Wulfekuhle singled. When Shea Steffen also walked, the bags were full setting up Kiersten Schmitt’s two-RBI double to center that scored Mia Maiers (running for Klas) and Wulfekuhle to make the game 5-4 Blazers.
Lauren Osterhaus was next up and walked to re-load the bags. Nell McDermott doubled to center to plate Steffen and Schmitt, 7-4. Lead-off batter and team leader in hits Heather Boeckenstedt was intentionally walked to fill the bases again. Jadyn Welling tagged a little infield hit that rolled through the first baseman’s glove to plate Osterhaus. When Sydney Steffen singled to center, McDermott and Boeckenstedt crossed the plate to make it 10-4, basically completing a seven-run inning.
“That inning was just awesome,” glowed coach Ryan Meissner. “That’s not the first time we’ve scored with two outs to start the inning, but that was just a great inning for us.”
Boeckenstedt added, “It felt really good. When we swing at the ball and it goes up the middle, we know it’s a good hit. We just stayed positive and put everything together. The bottom of the order really came through, especially with those two outs.”
The Rebels scored two runs in the top of the seventh after opening with an out, but it wasn’t enough to counter the Blazer lead, especially when Sydney Steffen fanned the final two batters. She ended with eight strikeouts in the game, walked just one and scattered eight hits.
One of those hits was a home run over the left-field fence from leading hitter Neveah Hildebrandt which scored teammate Alexis Ehlers and tied the game at 2-2. They scored twice more in that frame and led 4-2 before the inning ended.
The Blazers got one back in the bottom of the inning when both Wulfekuhle and Shea Steffen reached and both plated on a Boeckenstedt single to center. But Steffen’s run was called off because Schmitt was tagged at third for the final out before Steffen stepped on the plate according to the home ump, making the score 4-3.
Wulfekuhle led statistics with four hits while Sydney Steffen had two. Boeckenstedt, Welling, Shea Steffen, Schmitt and McDermott all tallied a hit, but they also took advantage of seven walks issued by Rebel hurlers Alyssa Pessman (one) and Ehlers (six).
Meissner added, “It looks like we’ll be playing Durant Monday night and we’ll be ready to play them tough. Right now, we don’t know where (site determined next day) but we’ll be ready to take them on anywhere.”