Youngsville holds off Eisenhower in battle of young county rivals
A funny thing about rivalries is that, more often than not, they tend to produce good, if not great games.
Friday’s softball addition of the Backyard Brawl certainly lived up to its billing, as Youngsville withstood a late Eisenhower rally to earn its first win of the season, 8-6 at Youngsville High School.
“It was a good game,” said Youngsville coach Scott Ishman. “We’ve had a couple of rough games, but to come here and win against our crosstown rival is a good feeling. They stepped up and played well, played with intensity.”
Eisenhower struck for an unearned run in the first, as a sharply hit ball off the bat of Kayla Greene brought in Lexi Head, who doubled, but the Lady Eagles responded in a big way in the second inning to assume early control.
Jena Wilson got hit by an Alexis Courtney pitch to start the frame, which was the start of what turned out to be a 4-run inning.
Miranda Stevenson reached on an error and Morgan Lawson was also hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Destiny Upton, who connected on an RBI single to tie the game at 1, with a second run scoring on an error.
Kamryn Weissinger followed with an RBI single of her own, as did Maddie Cratty.
“We hit the ball well tonight,” Ishman said. “Getting outside is helping. We had some good hits tonight – up and down the lineup they all did very well and were patient at the plate.”
The inning could have been even more profitable for the Lady Eagles, but Eisenhower centerfielder Delaney Chase came up firing on Cratty’s single and threw a perfect strike to catcher Shelby Kuzminski, who applied the tag on Weissinger, who was attempting to score from second.
“We made some really great plays tonight,” said Eisenhower coach Mike English. “I’m proud of the girls. They didn’t give up.”
Youngsville struck for single runs in each of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
Upton drew a bases loaded walk in the third, with Courtney able to escape further damage by inducing a groundout to end the inning.
Erin Dunn led off the fourth with a double and scored on Rebekah Hogg’s base hit. In the fifth, Weissinger ripped a triple into the gap with two outs and Dunn brought her in with a sharp single, and Andrea Sveda’s triple to right field in the sixth brought in Wilson.
Eisenhower scored twice in the fifth, with a sharp single by Greene bringing in Zoie Olsen, with an error on the play allowing Chase to score.
Despite that, Ike trailed 8-3 going in the seventh, but they weren’t going down without a fight.
Chase doubled with one out and with two outs, Cratty appeared to end the game by striking out Greene, but the ball went to the backstop and she was able to reach, with Chase scoring on the throw to first.
The door was open just a crack, and the Lady Knights were almost able to push through.
Shelby Kuzminski walked and Ashley Hall belted a 2-run single, making it 8-6 and bringing the tying run to the plate.
Cratty knuckled down, however, and got a strikeout to end the game and preserve the win for the Lady Eagles.
The senior hurler was very solid and efficient, including a 5-pitch fourth inning and a 4-pitch sixth inning.
“Maddie pitched a good game,” Ishman said.
She struck out four, while Courtney fanned three.
“They’re learning to control what we can control and the rest will take care of itself,” Ishman said. “This is a young team, but they listen and work hard. Hard work has been our motto this year.”
English, who also has a young team, was equally optimistic.
“The girls worked and worked and worked and hit the ball,” he said. “We will continue to get better. At one point I had six freshmen on the field. We’re going to be dynamite if they all stick together and believe. I told them if you want to be a good team, you have to do all the little things right. We are doing some of those things right now. Today, we hit the ball really well, but sometimes it was right at them.”
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(AB-H-R-RBI) Chase CF 4-2-2-0, Head SS 2-1-1-0, Greene RF 4-1-1-2, Kuzminski C 3-1-1-0, Kellogg 1B 1-0-0-0, Hall 1B 3-0-1-2, Snook CR 0-0-0-0, Smith LF 4-0-0-0, Courtney P 3-0-0-0, Tower 3B 3-0-1-0, Fetzek 2B 1-0-0-0, Olsen 2B 1-1-0-0, Totals 29-6-7-4
Weissinger 4-1-2-0, Dunn SS 4-1-2-1, Cratty P 3-0-1-1, Hogg LF 4-0-1-1, Wilson 3B 2-3-1-3, Sveda C 4-0-1-1, Stevenson 1B 3-1-0-0, Lawson 2B 2-1-0-0, Upton RF 2-1-1-1, Totals 28-8-9-8
Eisenhower 100 020 3 – 6 7 4
Youngsville 041 111 x – 8 9 4
2B – Dunn (Y), Chase (E), Head (E); 3B – Weissinger (Y), Sveda (Y); WP – Cratty; LP – Courtney