By Nick Beversdorf
Bluejay varsity softball rebounded against DC Everest this past Thursday in a stunning last inning performance.
Leonna Ives scored a run off her line drive hit to left field in the first inning, helping to secure an early lead. During the top of the 4th Cassandra Casper scored off a ground ball by Emily Travis that further widened the gap to 2 points. Everything seemed to be going well for the Bluejays until a DC Everest line drive to left field allowed players on 2nd and 3rd base to empty into home, tying up the game in just a few seconds.
Both teams continued to play aggressively, each hoping to one-up the other in an attempt to break the tie. That is exactly what happened at the top of the 7th when Chelsey LaMonica hit a grounder to first base that allowed her to advance to 1st on an error, which allowed Leonna to advance from 3rd to home, scoring the run needed to win.
“We came out of the blocks firing right away, as our team leaders, two of our captains, Leonna Ives and Chelsey LaMonica got big hits for us in the first to put us on the board for an early lead in the top of the first,” comments head coach Matt Ellenbecker. “Emily Travis put us up 2-0 in the 4th with a fielders choice RBI. We really did a solid job all night offensively, gathering 9 base hits, drawing 3 walks and keeping our Ks down to a reasonable number against a very good pitcher. We were successful both times that we needed to move runners with a bunt, as well. The little things are big things. Our 2nd and 3rd runs were driven in with fielder’s choice ground balls. Productive outs win games, and we did our best with that tonight.”
Ellenbecker also comments on the improved defensive performance during the game.
“Taylor Krueger and our defense bounced back from a rough first outing and performed very well. She scattered 10 hits, and did a nice job of throwing strikes while moving the ball around the zone and mixing speeds. Our defense did a solid job backing her up. We weren’t perfect behind her, but we made huge strides from game one. It was fun to see her get her first varsity win.”
This performance-driven win helped instill a sense of confidence in the team, especially after the disappointing loss against Weyauwega-Fremont last Friday (April 1st).
“Chelsey LaMonica came in to close it out for the save, working through the very potent heart of the Evergreen order to shut things down for us,” adds Ellenbecker. “With a young team, we’ll have some ups and downs, but it was very encouraging to see us rebound as a team from a disappointing first performance.”
Field conditions permitting, Bluejay varsity softball will have their next game this Tuesday, April 12th at 4:30 p.m. vs Wausau East @ the MARC.