(Photo by Ty Capron)
"That was really a great thing to see," said Gehlen coach Patty Hatting of her team's turnaround against Unity. "I was very impressed with these girls. They held themselves together and it was nice to come back and show (Unity) what kind of a ballclub we really are."
The rematch started poorly for the Lady Jays as Unity plated two runs in the top of the first inning Monday before the game was suspended due to lightning. Gehlen took the one-day layoff as an opportunity to regroup and came out Tuesday with two runs of its own in the bottom of the second to tie the game.
Kayla Hatting and Sara Rohmiller drew back-to-back walks to start the second inning and Hatting stole second, then third and scored on a passed ball. Rohmiller also stole second to move into scoring position and came home on an RBI single by Alicia Sitzmann that knotted the game at 2-2.
The Lady Jays took their first lead of the season over Unity with three runs in the third inning. Jill Vonnahme got things rolling with a base hit, advancing from first to third on passed balls. Katie Kolbeck walked to put runners on the corners and Kayla Hatting delivered a base hit to score both Vonnahme and Kolbeck.
Hatting moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rohmiller and scored on an RBI double from Amanda Oetken for a 6-3 Lady Jays lead.
Gehlen added three insurance runs in the bottom of the fourth as Ashley Langel got a base hit and wound up on third after a pair of passed balls. Marcia Langel walked and stole second and Kolbeck reached on an error that scored both Langels. Kolbeck moved around the bags on passed balls and eventually stole home to score Gehlen's final run of the game.
Danielle Gunter started on the mound for the Lady Jays and gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks, striking out one before being replaced by Lauren Livermore in the fifth. Livermore allowed one hit and two walks the rest of the way, striking out one to get the win for Gehlen, now 4-7 in the War Eagle Conference.
The Lady Jays collected seven hits with Vonnahme accounting for two. Kayla Hatting was 1-for-1 with two RBIs, Amanda Oetken was 1-for-3 with an RBI and Ashley Langel and Annie Woods added a hit each.
Coach Hatting said that she hopes Tuesday's win over Unity can be a turning point for the Lady Jays as they begin their second run through the WEC.
"I'm hoping this is a turnaround for us. This is the halfway point and hopefully we can get on a winning streak now," she said. "These teams that we played in the first part of the season are going to see a different team this time around."
Gehlen (4-11) will next play West Sioux Wednesday in a WEC game at Hawarden.