LA MONTE — Despite two big innings, the Cole Camp Lady Bluebirds had to fight to the finish to beat La Monte 9-8 Tuesday in a Kaysinger Conference softball game.
The Lady Bluebirds scored five runs in the third and four in the fourth to take a 9-3 lead.
All five runs in the third were unearned and came with two outs.
After pitcher Madison Harris retired the first two batters, leadoff batter Kimmi Finkiewicz reached on an error by the second baseman, and the Lady Bluebirds followed with four straight hits to take a 5-2 lead. MacKenzieGudde singled home Finkiewicz, and Shelby Sprinkle, who singled, scored on the throw home to tie the score at 2. Darian Burton and Elizabeth Craig followed with run-scoring singles, and another scored on an error by the center fielder.
“Our team really came together tonight. We hit the ball well,” pitcherGudde said.
The Lady Bluebirds increased their lead to 9-3 in the top of the fourth. Bailey Heimsoth singled off the pitcher with one out, and Tessia Balke bunted her to second.
“Coach (Terri Ward) told us yesterday that she was going to have us bunt the heck out of the ball, and that’s what we did,” Gudde said.
Finkiewicz reached on a fielder’s choice, and courtesy runner Alyssa Oelrichs beat the throw to third. With two outs, Gudde tripled home two runs. Burton drove home Gudde with a single, and Burton scored on a double steal.
“Cole Camp, they hit well. Coach Ward, she does a great job with those girls,” La Monte coach Dabecka Kirk said. “They just got some very good solid hits straight up the middle of the field. I told the girls you can’t do anything about those. You can’t get them back. You’ve just got to get the out. Unless we stand somebody on second base, there’s nothing you can do about those.”
The Lady Vikings didn’t give up without a fight.
“That’s something we always talk about, not giving up. Always staying in it, always fighting,” Kirk said. “Never at any point did I get nervous really because I know that they have that. All last year, they came back in every single game. I knew they could do it. If they put their minds to it, they have the heart that they’ll do it.”
La Monte began to rally in the fourth. Tori Karigan doubled and scored on a wild pitch.
After the Lady Vikings went down 1-2-3 in the fifth, Vada DeMotte singled with one out in the sixth, advanced to second on an error by the left fielder and scored on a wild pitch. Daniele Rose and Brittany Green each drew a walk. Rose scored on a double steal started by Green, and Green scored on an error by the second baseman.
The Lady Vikings threatened again the seventh. Sandra Arroyo hit a leadoff single and moved all the way to third on a pair of wild pitches. Alexa Shull’s ground out to third drove in Arroyo, who collided with catcher Balke at the plate. Neither player seemed to be seriously injured.
However, Gudde struck out Harris and retired DeMotte on a grounder to second to escape further damage.
“We kind of made the adjustments there at the end,” Kirk said. “Move my lineup around, put some other kids in to hit, try to make something happen. Sometimes it happens and something it doesn’t.”
Gudde allowed eight runs — six earned — on eight hits with three walks and six strikeouts in seven innings.
“My team had my back the whole time, but those last two innings there, I had to calm down,” Gudde said. “We just got through it as a team.”
Harris gave up nine runs — four earned — on nine hits with one walk and four strikeouts in seven innings.
The Lady Vikings took a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Arroyo led off with a triple and scored on Harris’ double. Shull singled home Harris.