Kenyon-Wanamingo Softball Falls in Extra Innings
The Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons softball team came from behind to pull out a 7-6 walk-off win in the 8th inning Monday night against Kenyon-Wanamingo in Glenville. The Knights had not practiced or played a game in over a week and were playing with heavy hearts Monday night. A team member passed away which is why there were no games or practices last week for the team. They attended the funeral in Owatonna last week.
Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons is in it's second season of a co-op in softball. The two school districts are about a half hour apart but pair in a number of different sports.
Kenyon-Wanamingo's only senior, pitcher Emma Berquam had a perfect game through the first three innings. Berquam struck out seven straight batters. Meanwhile the Knights scored a run in the first inning when sophomore right fielder Shayley Ferguson smacked a single to right, stole second and scored on an RBI single off the bat of junior shortstop Morgan Schaefer.
K-W also scored in the third inning when junior catcher Sydney Burow started the inning with a single, Ferguson had a single and a walk loaded the bases. Schaefer high a grounder to the right side of the infield allowing Burow to score the Knights second run.
Kenyon-Wanamingo extended their lead to 3-0 in the top of the 4th inning. Maddi Luebke reached base on a fielder's choice with one out. Number 9 hitter, second baseman Ellie Benson clubbed a single to right field. With two outs Ferguson connected for her third hit of the day. Sophomore first baseman Hailey Lerfald was walked to load the bases. Luebke scored on a wild pitch.
In the bottom of the fourth Berquam was greeted by back to back bunts for hits to break up her perfect game. That was followed by her first walk to load the bases. During that walk the first batter who bunted scored on a wild pitch. Berquam hunkered down to strike out the cleanup hitter but the next batter hit a grounder to second that was fielded cleanly and thrown home to get the runner sliding into home plate. The play was not executed allowing two runs to score on an error.
Lerfald made an outstanding catch in foul territory to keep the score at that point 3-2 Knights with two outs. Opposing pitcher sophomore Kaetlin Bendickson clubbed a bases clearing triple on a 0-1 count to give AC-GE their first lead.
Kenyon-Wanamingo struck back in the top of the 5th inning with two runs to re-take the lead. An error started the inning off a ball hit by Berquam. Junior left fielder Karlie Hodgeman coaxed a walk during an 8 pitch at bat. Junior Knight third baseman Kallie Bauer hit a grounder that was fielded by the third baseman who underhanded the ball to the shortstop covering third to get Berquam courtesy runner sophomore Madi Greseth out. Junior center fielder Madi Luebke hit a grounder to third and the third basemen stepped on the bag to get the second out with Hodgeman trying to advance.
With two outs Benson cracked a two RBI single down the right field line and the Knights had the lead back 5-4. In the bottom of the 5th Berquam was greeted again by a bunt single off the bat of the AC-GE number nine batter. A sacrifice bunt got her into scoring position. The next hitter laid down a bunt and was retired by a runner did advance to third base. That runner scored on a wild pitch. Number three hitter for AC/GE sophomore Grace Erickson worked the count to 2-2 before hammering a triple off the fence in straightaway center field. The Knights nearly got out of that inning with no more damage. The next batter hit a hard grounder to shortstop that was knocked down nicely but she had trouble picking up the ball and AC-GE had a 6-5 lead.
The Knights responded again with a run in the 6th inning to tie the game. Ferguson led off the inning getting on base for the fourth time, reaching on an error. Lerfald followed with a single to place runners at first and second with no outs. Schaefer connected with a ball hit to second and the second basemen flipped the ball to short to get the runner coming down from first to put runners at the corners with one out. Berquam hit a grounder scoring Ferguson when the shortstop threw to second to record the second out. The game was tied at 6 going into the bottom of the sixth inning.
AC-GE went up and down in order in the bottom of the sixth and the Knights were up and down in order in the top of the seventh.
Berquam struck out the lead batter in the 7th before sophomore shortstop Kylie Korman cracked a triple. Berquam then struck out the next two batter to leave Korman stranded at third base to end the inning and send the game into extra innings.
Burow led off the top of the 8th with a single. Ferguson flew out to center field. Lerfald was walked on four pitches. Schaefer hit a grounder to the pitcher who threw to third base to retire Burow. With two outs and runners on first and second Berquam hit a grounder down the first base line that was fielded to end the threat.
In the bottom of the 8th back to back walks started the inning followed by Berquam's 13th strikeout of the game. The number 8 batter in the order had a 1-2 count and on the 6th pitch of the at bat a ball in the dirt went to the backstop and sophomore third baseman for AC-GE Lacy Peterson scored the winning walk-off run.
AC-GE improved to 3-3. Kenyon-Wanamingo fell to 0-4. The Knights host perennial power Zumbrota-Mazeppa Tuesday.
Berquam threw 136 pitches in the game, 87 for strikes with 13 strikeouts and 3 walks. She allowed 7 hits. AC-GE left 5 runners on base, 4 in scoring position.
The Baker and Axelson CPA's of Wanamingo statistic of the game, the 11 runners left on base by the Knights, 9 in scoring position. K-W had 9 hits in the contest.
Berquam was named a Held Bus Service Knight of the game along with Burow, Ferguson, Schaefer and Benson.