Wild week yields one win for lady Saints

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Saint Paul Lutheran High School Saints softball squad must have had tired legs after back-to-back-to-back high-scoring I-70 Conference affairs. Their first game of the week was less-than-thrilling for Saints supporters, as the Concordia High School Orioles took care of business, 24-5, but exciting games came down to the wire on Wednesday and Thursday when the Saints used late-game heroics to sneak by Lone Jack High School, 13-12, and fell late to the Crest Ridge High School Cougars, 12-10, respectively.

Tuesday, April 2 — I-70 Conference — Saint Paul Lutheran HS
Concordia 24
SPLHS 5

A date with crosstown rival Concordia High School didn’t work as planned for the Saints, picking up a few runs but ultimately wilting en route to a 24-5 loss.

The score was just 2-1 heading into the top of the third inning, but things got out of hand as the Orioles picked up 11 runs twice in one inning (third and fifth innings).

Saints hitters collected six hits combined. Chloe Fuhrman reached base safely twice, going 1-2 with a single and a walk. She also drove in two runs and scored one herself.

Freshman Hailey Arnold also had a big hit, going 1-2 with a triple and a run scored.

The Saints fall to 2-3 (0-3) with the loss.

Concordia advanced to 10-1 (2-0) with the victory.

Wednesday, April 3 — I-70 Conference — Saint Paul Lutheran HS
Lone Jack 13
SPLHS 12

An early lead evaporated for the Saints in their I-70 Conference showdown with the Lone Jack High School Mules, but a seventh inning rally was enough for the Saints to slip by LJHS with the 13-12 victory.

Senior Chelsea Dillon kicked the game’s scoring off with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning, giving them a 2-0 lead.

Lone Jack would tie the game in the top of the second with two runs, but SPLHS got the lead back when freshman Hailey Arnold singled, stole second and third, and scored on an error. The lead was short-lived, however, as Lone Jack piled on eight runs in the top of the third inning.

With the score at 10-3 until the bottom of the fourth, the Saints started slicing into the lead, picking up three runs as six straight Saints hitters made it to first base safely (five singles, one walk), moving the game to 10-6.

Two runs in the top of the fifth inning may have felt like insurance runs as the score moved to 12-6, but the Saints made the runs back up in the bottom half of the inning behind a Dillon double and a single from senior Rachel Gresham, who was eventually drove in by Arnold on a single.

The scoring stood pat until the bottom of the seventh inning, but with a 12-8 deficit to dig back from, the Saints absolutely got busy.

Sophomore Lauryn Bonar kicked off the crunch-time festivities with a leadoff double, moving to third on a wild pitch and scoring when senior Tori Ritzma singled her in two at-bats later.

Following a Saints strikeout and now down to their final out, freshman Carleigh Stockman doubled, driving in Ritzma. Senior Malaina Pitsch and Dillon followed her up with singles, as did senior Chloe Fuhrman to tie the ballgame. With the winning run on third, Gresham collected her third hit of the day — a walk-off double to give the Saints their first conference victory of the season.

Three Saints finished with three hits: Fuhrman went 3-5 with an RBI and run, Dillon homered and scored three runs and drove in three RBis as part of her 3-4 game, and Gresham went 3-5, as well with the game-winning double. She finished with two runs and one RBI.

As a team, Saints hitters only struck out once.

SPLHS moved to 3-3 (1-3) with the exhilarating victory.

Lone Jack fell to 0-6 (0-4) with the loss.

Thursday, April 4 — I-70 Conference — Crest Ridge HS
SPLHS 10
Crest Ridge 12

An opportunity for a second come-from-behind game in as many opportunities fell just flat, as late Crest Ridge High School runs ended up costing the Saints in the I-70 Conference matchup, falling to the Cougars 12-10.

Senior Chelsea Dillon wasted no time making her presence felt, smashing a solo home run in the game’s second at-bat.

Senior Chloe Fuhrman reached base to start the second inning, getting hit by a pitch and stealing second base before freshman Hailey Arnold drove her in with a two-out single. A single would eventually also drive in Arnold when junior Cynthia Bennett picked up the two-out RBI.

The lead was trimmed to 3-1 in the bottom of the second inning with a CRHS run, but the top of the third inning saw the Saints pick up three runs behind back-to-back moonshots from sophomore Lauryn Bonar and Fuhrman, moving the game to 6-1.

While the Cougars would score three of their own in the bottom of the third inning, but a leadoff double from Dillon to start the fifth inning eventually produced a run two at-bats later on a sacrifice fly.

With the score at 7-4 heading into the bottom of the fifth, Crest Ridge took their first lead of the game in scoring four runs, moving the tally to 8-7.

SPLHS got the lead back in the top of the sixth inning when back-to-back doubles from Arnold and Bennett produced one run. Bennett would score later, when Dillon blasted her fourth hit — and third extra-base hit — of the game with a two-our RBI double, moving the score to 9-8 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Cougars produced the go-ahead runs, picking up four more scores to move the total to 12-9.

With their backs to the wall — as they were the day before — things looked good to start off the final inning of play. Bonar, Fuhrman, and Pitsch went for three straight singles, but only Fuhrman would score before, leaving the Saints with the tough 12-10 loss.

The Saints committed six errors in the contest, a tough number to overcome in a tight contest.

Dillon had a career day, going 4-4 with a home run and two doubles. She scored three runs and drove in two as well. Fuhrman and Bonar also homered. Fuhrman finished 3-4 with a double, three runs, and an RBI, while Bonar went 2-4 and drove in two with her blast. Bennett and Arnold also recorded two-hit games, of which one each was a double.

The Saints fell to 3-4 (1-4) with the tough loss.

Crest Ridge moved to 7-1 (1-0) by holding the Saints off for the win.

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