Lady Hawks beat Hinton with another one-run win
REMSEN — Deficits in the fifth and sixth inning haven’t fazed the Remsen St. Mary’s softball team so far this season. After earning a comeback win in their season opener against South O’Brien by a 3-2 score by scoring twice in the sixth inning, the Lady Hawks scored three runs in the fifth inning against Hinton on Wednesday, June 17, to come away with a 5-4 win.
“It took five innings to get five runs, but these girls are battlers,” RSM Head Coach Monte Harpenau said.
Hinton got off to a fast start with four runs in the opening inning. The frame started by a walk and two hit batters for eighth grade pitcher Marina Cronin with the first run scoring on a wild pitch and the next three coming home on back-to-back doubles from Taylor Reuter and Aubree Lake. RSM got out of the jam on a double play as Cronin tossed the ball to first for the out and Carly Ortmann threw home to catcher Ashley Willman who tagged out Reuter trying to score.
Coach Harpenau said his message to his young pitcher was to settle down, focus and hit your spots and the message seemed to resonate for most of the remainder of the game.
“She struggled that first inning with walks and hit batters, but she didn’t let it affect her the rest of the game,” Harpenau said. “That’s tough when you’re an eighth grader to battle through that, but she’s done a great job.”
Cronin hit the first batter of the second inning, but got the next three batters out. She followed with 1-2-3 innings each of the next three frames. While she plunked the first two batters of the sixth, the Blackhawks weren’t able to capitalize as the next three batters went down in order. Cronin allowed her first hit since the opening inning in the seventh, but clamped down to earn the win, striking out Jadyn Case to end the game, one of three punch outs in the contest for the rookie pitcher.
RSM worked back into the game after their 4-0 deficit with lone runs in the third and fourth. Sydney Schroeder singled home the first run and Ana Conover doubled for the second run of the game.
Two errors led off the bottom of the fifth for the Hawks which proved to be costly for the visitors.
“We simply made too many errors which cost us the game,” Hinton Head Coach Jennifer Jacobs-List said. “We only gave up one earned run. That should win us almost every game we play. At the plate, we came out hot but failed to get much else going throughout the night.”
The errors put Mya Bunkers and Brittany Johnson on base and they came home for the tying runs on a single from Ortmann and then a single from Carmindee Ricke. A bases loaded walk to Sydney Schroeder brought home Ortmann for what was the winning run.
Each of the last four meetings between the two War Eagle Conference foes has been decided by one run. Hinton won the last meeting by an identical score on an eighth inning walk-off while the first meeting of the 2019 season went to the Hawks by a 4-3 score. In 2018, it was a walk-off win in the seventh for RSM.
Along with an eighth grade pitcher, the Hawks have two other eighth graders starting with Bunkers and Ricke, while several others in the class will be vying for playing time in the future. Harpenau said the delay to the season hasn’t affected the development of those young players much, but has given the coaching staff less time to evaluate and decide where some of the pieces fit in along with returning players.
“Three of them are starting and we’ve used two or three off the bench for running and fielding and there’s more on the bench that we wouldn’t be afraid to throw in the game,” Harpenau said. “These girls are some of the best fundamentally that I’ve had coming in and so it’s easy to plug them in. That hasn’t been the hard part. The hard part has been figuring out how to shift everybody around and figure out where they fit with only two weeks.”
While two games is a small sample size, it is the first time RSM has won their first two games since a four-game winning streak to start the 2014 season. Harpenau hopes his team continues to get better throughout the season against what he knows will be a tough conference schedule.
“There’s no reason we can’t compete to be one of the top teams in our conference and I know our conference is probably one of the best in the state with the ranked teams we have,” Harpenau said. “There’s probably not too many easy nights, if there’s any, but these girls, they’re showing how tough they are.”
Hinton: Hits- 4; Walks- 1; 2B- Reuter, Lake; 3B- None; HR- None; RBI- Reuter 2, Goosmann 1, Lake 1; Pitching: Jadyn Case (L)- 6 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 7 Ks.
RSM: Hits- 5; Walks- 5; 2B- Conover; 3B- None; HR- None; RBI- S. Schroeder 2, Conover 1, Ricke 1, Ortmann 1; Pitching: Marina Cronin (W)- 7 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks.