Final inning rally keeps Lions from Luther title
By Tom Murphy
Being the home team has its benefits. Onalaska Luther, host of a four team tournament on Saturday, used its last at bat to hand the Spring Grove/Caledonia Lions its first loss of the year. Down 4-2 in the first extra inning, Luther rallied for three runs to edge SG/C, 5-4.
SG/C coach Shelly Anderson explained the international tie breaker rule was used. The last out from the previous inning was put at second base to start the new inning. The Lions scored two runs in its half but the Knights had one additional run to win the game and the tournament.
SG/C definitely outgunned the Knights. The visitors had 10 hits and left 14 runners on base. Luther benefitted from six errors. Samantha Bratland tossed a four hitter and only gave up three walks.
Leading the SG/C hitters was Marie Doering with a 2-5 day and a double. Catcher Lottie Augedahl was 1-3 with an RBI. Amanda Heberlein was 1-2 with a double and an RBI while Taylor Elton was 2-4 with two doubles. Doering and Lauren Rusert, who was 1-2, had the other RBI.
In the first game, the Lions faced Osseo-Fairchild and won 10-4. It was a 10-hit rumble and also four walks in the game with an additional six errors on Osseo-Fairchild.
Bratland, Heberlein, and Taylor Augedahl shared the pitching duties. Bratland gave up two hits and two walks in five innings. Heberlein gave up two hits and two walks in two innings while Augedahl gave up one hit and one walk in the final inning.
Marie Doering led the hitting brigade again with a 3-4 game, including a double. Heberlein and Elton each had doubles while Shannon Doering was 2-3. Kayla Krueger, Amber Betz, and Bratland each had a single.
Top Aquinas in a slug fest
In the second game, the Lions outslugged the La Crosse Aquinas Bluegolds in a 10-8 win. Aquinas made it interesting in the top of the seventh inning notching three runs. Before that, the Lions scored nine runs through three innings.
Bratland pitched two outs into the fourth inning before giving way to Heberlein. She issued seven walks in a wild streak that saw Aquinas score five runs in the fifth inning. Bratland had seven strikeouts while Heberlein recorded three strikeouts for the Lions.
Bratland was 2-3 with a double while Heberlein had a double and two RBIs. Elton had a perfect day with two doubles. Shannon Doering also had a perfect day at the plate as one of her two hits was a double. She had two RBIs. Marie Doering , Betz, and Cara Stemper had singles.
“Overall, it was a very good day,” Anderson said. We faced some competitive teams. I saw a lot of things we did well and some things need work,” she said. “I was very pleased with our aggressiveness at the plate in every game. I thought Bratland handled the intense game with Luther well in giving up just four hits.”
The Lions are off until Thursday when there is a road game at Hope Lutheran. The next day, there is another road game at St. Charles, who Anderson pegged to be a challenge in the conference. Next Monday, Houston comes here to play. La Crescent also comes to town on Tuesday.