By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
PENDLETON, Ind. —
Junior Emily Cline came off the bench and the Lapel Bulldogs got up off the deck to defeat Liberty Christian 7-6 in a first-round game of the Madison County Softball Tournament.
In the day’s other contest, Madison-Grant took advantage of some Anderson miscues for a 9-4 triumph to advance to today’s contest against Pendleton Heights at 5 p.m.
For a while it appeared that Lapel would be shoved into the tournament’s loser’s bracket as the Bulldogs gave up four runs on just one hit and an error in the opening inning. “I don’t know why we do that to ourselves,” said Lapel coach Scott Rich. Liberty’s hit was a big one. Senior Emily Branson tripled in half of those first-inning runs.
Then Rich had a problem even bigger than the four-run deficit. “This team is so quick to get down on themselves and then so hard to get back up,” he said.
Lapel got a run in the third on a two-out triple of its own, by Hannah Harless. It remained that way until the top of the sixth. Lindsey Kardatzke held the Bulldogs at bay for the Lions and Lapel reliever Kirsten Rich did the same to Liberty Christian.
That changed in the sixth when the Lions made it 6-1 on two hits and a Lapel error. Kardatzke’s double plated one and an error scored the second run. Lapel charged back with a four-run sixth on six hits. Cline pinch hit and got a single to start the uprising. A double by Devon Bodenhorn, four singles and two Liberty errors made it 6-5.
The score remained the same going to the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Cline tied the game with a home run over the center field fence. Katelyn Willis kept the rally going with a single and she scored the winning run when Bodenhorn drove a pitch into the right-center field gap for a triple.
In the opener, Madison-Grant scored three runs on two hits and two Anderson errors. The Indians never completely recovered, though they did cut it to 3-2 in the second when the Argylls had a two-base error on a sacrifice bunt attempt.
Madison-Grant made it 4-2 when Cierra Liddick hit a leadoff homer in the third. The Argylls sent 12 hitters to the plate in the sixth to put the game out of reach. The runs came on just two hits but that was enough when mixed with two Indian miscues.
Anderson did put up a fight in the seventh thanks to two walks, a M-G error and a two-run double by Mariah Miller.
Anderson pitcher Sydney Schmitt did a good job keeping the powerful Argylls at bay. “She kept us off what we were looking for,” said Argylls coach Jay Dunlap, who now looks forward to today’s matchup with the No. 4-ranked Arabians.
“It can do nothing but make us better,” said Dunlap. “I’m not sure how many 2A schools start the season by playing the first four games against 4A schools.”