The intentional walk in baseball or softball is the ultimate sign of respect for any given hitter and Saydel’s coach showed that respect by intentionally walking Alex Beard in the first inning with one out, after Makenna Ross had belted a double.
But see, the thing is, the next six batters behind Beard can hit the snot out of the ball as well…and they did.
The Dees unloaded five hits including a two-run double by clean-up hitter Jena Lawrence, a two-run single by Abbie Martin, an RBI single by #8 hitter Rylee Leshen and a single by Ellie Spurgin hitting in the ninth spot. Five runs cross the plate and Albia went on to a 12-2 first round regional victory over the 14-15 Eagles.
The Dees weren’t as sharp defensively as they have been, but they found ways to overcome errors. Saydel actually scored first with a pair of singles in the first inning and then Lawrence shut them down until the top of the fourth when another run scored on three errors and a walk.
Coaches Jani Dorpinghaus and Darren Hill did what they did the last game out and pulled starter Lawrence for MacKenna Jones and it worked just fine. “Jena actually threw four really strong innings,” said Coach Dorpinghaus. “We always expect Jena to pitch a full game, but we were struggling a little defensively and felt we needed to switch things up a bit. MacKenna actually benefits from Jena’s pitching, because they are just enough different to throw batters off.”
Jones struck out two of the first three batters she faced in a scoreless fifth, but then walked three in the sixth, loading the bases and benefiting from a nice catch at shortstop to end the inning.
That shortstop play. Kennedy Schroeder made the first of several outstanding plays in the fourth with bases loaded and two out, ranging deep and to her right to catch what would have been a clean single 98 percent of the time.
Albia didn’t score in the second with a catch in rightfield and a throw to second that doubled off Allie Major at second after Beard had doubled, but came back with a flurry in the third when Spurgin singled with two out. Her single was followed by an RBI single by Schroeder and an RBI double by Ross. Two more runs scored in the fourth when Jones reached on a fielder’s choice, Abbey Griffin singled and Martin laced a stand-up two-run double.
The Dees started strong in the fifth but a very nice double play ended the inning. Up 9-2 in the sixth, Lawrence led off with a double, Griffin drove home a run with a double, Martin hit her second two-run double of the night and Schroeder singled with two out to end the game.
The pitching line had Lawrence going four, giving up two hits and two walks with four strikeouts and an earned run. Jones pitched two innings giving up no hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Martin led the team at the plate with two hits, including a double and four RBI. Ross had two doubles and two RBI, Schroeder had three hits including a walk off RBI single, Lawrence had three hits and an RBI, Spurgin had two hits, Griffin had an RBI single, Leshen had an RBI single and Jones had an RBI. The Dees as a team had 15 hits and 11 RBI.
The meet Clarke on Friday, 7 p.m. at the Monroe County Sports Complex. The Dees beat Clarke (12-20) 17-8 and 9-0 in the regular season.