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Cougars clip STC softball after strong sixth inning

June 26, 2012
By Jimmy Gillispie - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

ACKLEY One opposing hit and a bad throw to home plate was enough to tip the scales in favor of AGWSR Tuesday night.

Those scales tipped quickly for South Tama's softball team. What was a 2-1 lead turned into a 6-2 deficit in a hurry. In the end, the Cougars (16-7) beat South Tama (6-14) 6-4.

"It was tough," coach Chelsea Ahrens said. "One bad inning cost us tonight. They had runners on base all game and that was the inning they came through with that hit. It happens. It's unfortunate they scored three runs on a base hit. That's the game. They are a great team though. They are second in the conference."

South Tama's softball team was four outs from upsetting one of the top teams in the North Iowa Cedar League West. While clinging to a one-run lead for most of the game, South Tama lost its strong hold on the game in the bottom of the sixth inning.

The Cougars threatened with runners on base after two walks, as they had every inning, but a pop fly gave STC the second out of the inning. With runners at first and second, the Cougars' No. 9 batter hit a blooper into short right-center field that dropped between three STC players. A bad throw to home plate allowed the runner to make it all the way around the bases, scoring three runs.

AGWSR added two more runs before the inning was over. Both runners reached base on STC errors.

"We made some big plays on defense all game," Ahrens said. "They had runners on first and second or bases loaded and we were shutting them down. I'm proud of how we're able to get out of those situations. We just had a couple bad plays in the sixth inning that hurt us."

After their 2-1 lead turned into a 6-1 deficit in a heartbeat, South Tama came charging back. Riley Craun and Madison Baack both hit singles to start the seventh inning. After two outs, Sarah Holtz hit a two-run double to score Craun and Baack. The game ended on the next batter with a ground out at first.

"I thought we did some really good things on offense," Ahrens said. "We put runners on base almost every inning. Even in the seventh inning, we put a little rally together. I was proud of the girls for not giving up and to keep fighting."

Craun scored both of the runs earlier in the game. She scored in the first inning after hitting a single. Samantha Holtz had the RBI. Craun had another single in the third and scored on a Baack RBI single.

Samantha Holtz pitched her second night in a row as she filled in for starter Jenn Maus. Her coach was pleased with her performance at the mound.

"Sam pitched well tonight," Ahrens said. "She came from a tough night last night where East Marshall hit everything she threw. Tonight, she was throwing strikes and only a couple walks. She did a great job for not knowing she was going to pitch tonight. I didn't anticipate Jenn being gone tonight. So Sam found out on short notice that she was pitching."

South Tama hosted East Marshall, who is ranked No. 5 in Class 3A, on Monday. East Marshall won 13-0.

"I thought the girls did a nice job of responding after last night," Ahrens said Tuesday. "After a tough loss, they surprised me. They came out and played hard and together tonight. That's being mentally tough right there."

The Trojans will play BCLUW at home Tuesday.



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