RISING SUN – A decided underdog against the Rising Sun Lady Shiners and their 22-3 record Monday night (May 20), Oldenburg Academy's Lady Twisters quickly felt the sting of that position in their Sectional 60 opener at Rising Sun High School.
The host team sent 13 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first inning off junior Caraline Gettinger, with the first seven crossing home plate. Two more runs would score in the nine-run frame and the Shiners ended things in the last of the fifth with a 10-0 walkoff victory.
Although Gettinger and the Twister defense faced the minimum number of hitters in innings two through four, the OA offense could muster just one hit while standing in against junior ace Sydney Pitts. The Shiner hurler fanned four and walked no one. Pitts set the Twisters down in order to start the contest, then led the offensive charge after picking up the bat.
The RS pitcher singled to left field, the start of a game-long trend. OA junior left fielder Claire Horan would be involved in over half the Shiners' plate appearances, as the home team hitters peppered the left side of the diamond all night.
Kassidy Romans belted a run-scoring double to right and the Shiners had an early 1-0 lead. Lindsay Montgomery beat out a single to third base and stole second, placing both runners in scoring position. Cleanup hitter Sydney Bostic brought both teammates home with a double into left. Tyrrah Miller's bloop into short left fell beyond the glove of junior shortstop Harlee Masavage. Freshman Cora Poling then hit a hard liner down the third-base line to score two and make it 5-0.
Abby Wallace reached on an error and swiped a base to again put runners at second and third. Gettinger retired Lucy Phelps on an RBI groundout to shortstop. Number 9 hitter Emma Levi singled to center and took second base; RS once more had runners knocking on the door. Pitts kept the hit parade going with a triple to the fence in left, giving the Shiners an 8-0 advantage. Romans picked up another run-batted in by grounding out to first. A base hit later, the frame finally ended with a flyout to Horan.
The second proved to be OA's only positive movement on the basepaths. Masavage made it to first with one out, when the shortstop fumbled a grounder. Freshman Hannah Langdon then stroked an opposite-field single to right after Masavage was caught trying to steal. Pitts induced a roller to third to end any threat.
Miller doubled to start the RS second and apparently tagged to third a batter later on a fly ball. The field umpire, though, determined she left the base early, ending the stanza.
Pitts earned back-to-back strikeouts to start the third and would not allow another Twister baserunner over a stretch of 10 consecutive outs.
In the bottom of three, OA catcher Alyssa Krekeler helped out her battery mate by throwing out Levi attempting to steal second. The Twister defense flashed a nice double play in the last half of the fourth. Montgomery lined hard to senior Abbey Gommel at third, who quickly caught Romans trying to retreat to first base. Bostic was then stranded at second after a double when Gettinger caught Miller looking, her only strikeout.
Needing a run for the 10-run rule ending, RS got a leadoff single by Poling in the fifth. Wallace reached on an infield single. An out later, Langdon fielded Levi's grounder and got the trail runner at second. With two outs, Pitts promptly smashed one off the leg of Gettinger; by the time Gommel recovered the ball, Poling had scored the 10th run.
Oldenburg will see four seniors move on with next month's graduation – Alex Bamonte, Gommel, Kara Combs and Abbi Eldridge. Rising Sun finished off another 10-0 gem Tuesday against Jac-Cen-Del and faced Hauser Thursday in the championship game.
Will Fehlinger can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 112.