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Dees capture share of SCC title - Albia Newspapers: Sports

Dees capture share of SCC title

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Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 2:12 pm

It was a weird game to start with, even though it was the most important game of the regular season for Albia, hoping to gain a share of the South Central Conference title.

The game at Centerville had been postponed Thursday (apparently due to massive amounts of sunshine and a hysterical weather forecast) to Monday night. Centerville had nothing to lose and everything to gain as it moved into tournament play. Albia needed a win to tie Clarke for the SCC title.

The game started extremely late because instead of ending the JV game at 7:30 p.m. with Albia ahead, a seventh inning was played. A throwing error cost Albia a win as the teams settled for a 7-7 tie.

It took a half hour for the field to be readied and for the umpires to reappear. Once the game finally started, it became classic, old school softball, with pitching dominance and players and coaches trying to get a very few runners moved up a base for a possible score.

Centerville freshman Alyssa McElvain and Albia freshman Jena Lawrence were just short of brilliant on the mound. So were the defenses behind them. McElvain scattered six hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. Lawrence gave up four hits and two walks, striking out 11.

The Lady Dees had bases loaded in the third inning with two out and McElvain forced Lawrence to hit to the mound for the third out. The Dees were making consistent contact with the ball, but McElvain was pitching inside and a lot of the balls hit were off the handle and easily played by the Redette infield.

The game was 0-0 through five, but the Dees rallied in the sixth with the bottom half of their order. Kennedy Schroeder reached base on a single and Makenna Ross followed with a walk. Abbey Griffin, pinch-hitting for Rylee Leshen, hit a grounder that moved Schroeder to third, and forced Makenna Ross out at second. Griffin’s speed got her safely to first with one out.

That brought up senior Kenzie Curran, who crushed a pitch to deep centerfield, scoring Schroeder and giving Albia a 1-0 lead.

It was Curran’s night both offensively and defensively, making a brilliant play in left field, running down a towering hit that she caught about 20 feet from the fence.

Albia went down in the seventh and the Redettes came up for their final at bat. The Redettes had been successful all night bunting off Lawrence and the Dees had already misplayed a bunt. With one out and a runner at second, Centerville laid down a perfect bunt that was misplayed by the Dees. A steal put runners at second and third with two out.

Lawrence threw a fastball and the Centerville hitter got around on it, rifling a shot down the third base line. The force of the ball darned near knocked Leshen off her feet, but the sophomore fielded it cleanly and made a perfect throw to first for the final out.

Albia’s five singles came from Isley, Alex Beard, Schroeder, Curran and Erin Heaton. Beard and Schroeder drew walks.

Albia ends the conference season with a 10-2 record, losing once to Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont and once to Clarke. Clarke also ends at 10-2, with losses to EBF and Albia. EBF finishes with a 9-3 mark with losses to Albia, Clarke and Centerville and the Redettes end at 6-6.

Four teams in the league had 20 or more wins including EBF, 27, Albia, 25, Centerville, 24 and Clarke, 20.

The title was the sixth coached by Larry Achenbach and the first since 2009.

Albia 11, Grinnell 1

The Lady Dees smoked Grinnell on July 1, winning 11-1. Lawrence pitched five innings, giving up a run on four hits with no walks and nine strikeouts. She had a huge night at the plate with three hits, including a double and an RBI. Schroder had two hits, scored and had three RBI. Isley had two hits, scored twice, stole a base and had an RBI.

Curran and Heaton remained red hot at the plate. Curran had two hits and scored twice and Heaton was 3-3 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. Makenna Ross had a double.

© 2017 Albia Newspapers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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