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R-U ends five-game skid with 13-inning victory

Friday, June 15, 2012

(Sentinel photo by Jason Cox) Remsen-Union junior left fielder Brittany Sudtelgte makes contact with a pitch against Spalding Catholic Thursday during the Lady Rockets 9-2 win in 13 innings.
GRANVILLE -- After five straight losses and 12 innings of offensive struggles on Thursday, the Lady Rockets came out of their slump in a big way.

The Remsen-Union softball team suddenly rallied for seven runs in the top of the 13th inning to defeat Spalding Catholic 9-2 in Granville.

After the first 12 innings were mostly dominated by the pitchers on both sides, the Lady Rockets' Alison Schreiner got things started in the 13th with a swinging bunt that she beat out for an infield single. Brittany Weikel followed with a bunt of her own down the first base line. The bunt stayed fair, giving Weikel a single, and Schreiner advanced all the way to third.

After Weikel stole second uncontested, Hailey Loutsch tapped a pitch in front of the plate. Spalding's pitcher, Paris Schnepf, didn't throw to first, fearing Schreiner would race home from third. With the bases loaded, Courtney Loutsch hit a sharp ground ball that the shortstop couldn't handle. Two runs scored to give the Rockets a lead.

Britanny Sudtelgte singled up the middle to load the bases again. After a line out, Kylie Gries plated two with a single up the middle.

After a strikeout, Sudtelgte advanced to third on a passed ball, and she scored when the toss back to the pitcher was off-line. Another run scored when Sammy Tentinger reached on an error. Schreiner capped off the inning with an RBI single.

"We struggled with the bats right away, but the girls didn't pout," R-U coach Heather Youde said. "They kept into the mental game, and that's when we got those hits. And that was awesome."

The Lady Rockets (8-7) actually got off to a quick start offensively. Schreiner led off the game with a hit, then she stole second. She scored when Weikel doubled over the left fielder's head.

But all the momentum the Lady Rockets had out of the gate was halted when a bolt of lightning caused the game to be suspended for half an hour. When play resumed, the next three Rockets hitters went down in order.

(Sentinel photo by Jason Cox) Remsen-Union third baseman Taylor Weiler throws to first base for an out Thursday against Spalding Catholic.
When Schroeder set the Lady Spartans down in order in their half of the first, the pitchers' duel was officially under way. For the most part, both pitchers rolled through the opposing team's lineup for the next 11 innings.

The Lady Spartans manufactured a run with one hit in the fourth inning to tie the game. The Lady Rockets regained the lead in the top of the fifth when three straight errors led to a run. The Lady Spartans tied the game again in the fifth inning when a run scored on an error.

When the game went into extra innings, both teams had chances to push across the winning run in multiple innings.

In the bottom of the eighth, Spalding's Leah Schroeder ripped a one-out single to right field, and she was sacrificed to second by Kim Streff. When Kim Schroeder got out of the inning with a strikeout, Youde celebrated with a big fist pump. Little did she know they still had five innings to play.

With one out in top of the ninth, Schreiner slapped a pitched to the shortstop and beat the throw for an infield single. With Schreiner running on the pitch, Weikel grounded out to second, and Schreiner advanced all the way to third. Courtney Loutsch then hit a bloop hit behind second base. Spalding's Alex Willman made a nice running catch to preserve the tie.

The Lady Spartans put together their biggest threat in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, Madison Pottebaum tomahawked a pitch over her head into right field for a hit. Schnepf then followed with a double, but Pottebaum was held up at third. Maggie Schroeder tried to bunt her way on, but catcher Stacie Bortscheller pounced on the ball and threw her out at first.

They played on.

The Lady Rockets put two runners on in the 10th inning and one in the 11th but failed to score. The Lady Spartans went down in order in both innings. In the top of the 12th, a single by Courtney Loutsch and two errors had the bases loaded for R-U with just one out. After a strikeout, Sammy Tentinger had a great at-bat. She fouled off multiple pitches, then hit a line drive back up the middle.

But it was right at Schnepf, and she caught it to end the inning.

(Sentinel photo by Jason Cox) R-U pitcher Kim Schroeder
Schroeder continued her dominance on the rubber. She allowed just one hit in the 12th, and when the offense gave her a lead to work with, she shut the door on any possible comeback with a three up, three down 13th inning.

Although Schroeder wound up pitching 35 innings in four days, she seemed to pitch her best at the end of the game, giving up just one hit in the final four innings.

"Thirteen innings after going four nights in a row, Kim pitched phenomenally," Youde said. "It came to the point where it was which pitcher was going to wear down at the end."

Schroeder finished the game with 10 strikeouts and two walks. She allowed just one earned run on eight hits.

The Lady Rockets combined for 15 hits. Schreiner was 6-for-8 with an RBI, two runs scored and two stolen bases. Weikel had three hits, two runs scored, and RBI and two stolen bases. Courtney Loutsch added three hits and two RBIs. Sudtelgte and Gries each recorded a hit, two RBIs and a run scored. Tentinger added two hits and a run scored.

The Lady Rockets hope they can use the momentum from the hard-fought win to get another winning streak started. They started the year 6-0 but had dropped seven of their last eight before Thursday.

"I'm just thankful we have practice tomorrow and the girls can rest a little bit," Youde said. "I think mentally they just need to unwind a little bit. Hopefully we can keep this going and keep fighting hard."

R-U will continue its season Saturday with games against Alta-Aurelia and Harris-Lake Park in a tournament in Akron.

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