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Lady Trojans split home games during busy four-day stretch

June 7, 2013
By Jimmy Gillispie - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

South Tama's softball team has been busy, playing five games in four days and picking up a pair of victories.

After two rain-outs last week, where the Lady Trojans were scheduled to play West Marshall and Grinnell, South Tama's squad was busy from Friday through Monday. STC hosted a pair of games and played three contests at the Hudson Tournament.

On Friday, the Lady Trojans hosted Grundy Center after an eight-day layoff because of rain-outs. It was an up and down game, but a late hit gave the Lady Trojans a walk-off 7-6 victory over the Spartans.

"We had a great win," STC head coach Chelsea Ahrens said. "It was definitely a heart-wrenching game for a coach. We were way up and I was feeling comfortable. I think that's what happened with our defense. They were feeling relaxed, too. It was exciting."

The Lady Trojans scored one run in the first inning, two runs in the second and two more in the fourth inning to take a 5-0 lead over Grundy Center. Thinking their lead was safe was dangerous, because Grundy Center wasn't finished.

Grundy Center scored five runs in the top of the sixth inning before South Tama switched pitchers. Freshman Kallie Hala replaced starting junior Samantha Holtz. Hala came in with bases loaded and only one out. She gave up one run as Grundy Center took a 6-5 lead.

South Tama was unable to score in the bottom of the sixth inning. With a loss staring the Lady Trojans in the face, they rallied with two outs in the final inning. Their No. 8 hitter, junior Madison Baack, reached first base on an error. Then freshman Belle Tyynismaa reached first on a bunt and advanced Baack to second base. Senior Riley Craun loaded the bases with a single. Junior Tori Appelgate ended the game with a 2-run walk-off hit, scoring sophomore Naomi Hoskey, who ran for Baack, and Tyynismaa.

"We got up 5-0 and then we got comfortable and fell back on our heels a bit," Ahrens said. "We had some errors and gave up quite a few walks. Then we came back and pulled it out in the bottom of the seventh with two outs."

Tyynismaa went 3-of-4 from the plate and scored two runs on Friday. Craun and Appelgate each had two hits, while earning one and three RBIs, respectively. Holtz also earned two RBIs during the game.

"It was an exciting way to end it," she said. "It was a fun game. The previous game against Grundy last year was kind of like that. There were a lot of walks and kind of a slow game, but it was fun to come out on top of a game like that."

On Saturday, the Lady Trojans traveled to Hudson for a tournament in which they would play three games. They started the day with a tough loss to Denver, who qualified for the 2012 state tournament. Denver won the game 12-3.

Craun and Appelgate led the Lady Trojans with two hits apiece. Craun, Baack and Tyynismaa each scored a run against Denver.

South Tama's next game of the day came against South Hamilton. Hala pitched all six innings on the game and gave up only four hits and two earned runs. She gave up a two-run home run in the third inning. However, South Tama's offense struggled. STC had only five hits and one earned run as it lost 2-1.

Freshman Dani Stubbs led the team with two hits. Appelgate, junior Hailee Weiss and Hala also had one hit each. Weiss scored a run in the fourth inning when Hala hit her in with an RBI, but that was South Tama's only run of the game.

"Kallie did a nice job for us," Ahrens said. "The only runs they scored were on a 2-run home run in like the third inning. It was a well-played game defensively. We just couldn't muster up more than one run.

"She's done a nice job of coming in for us," she added of Hala's pitching. "We're keeping hitters off balanced a little bit. She's more of a finesse pitcher who puts a little bit more spin on it."

South Tama finished the tournament with a 12-1 five-inning run-rule rout of host Hudson. STC was sparked by eight runs in the second inning before it added three more runs in the third inning.

The Lady Trojans had only seven hits in the game. Senior Jade Rohach and Weiss each had two hits, while Craun led the team with three runs. Rohach and Appelgate scored two runs apiece for the Lady Trojans. Also scoring for STC were Holtz, Weiss, sophomore Catie Collins, Baack and freshman Natalie Stadler. Holtz pitched for the Trojans and gave up zero earned runs and two hits in the win.

"The pitching we saw really wasn't that great," Ahrens said. "It was good to get a win to end the day after that tough loss to South Hamilton. It was nice to be able to get a win."

On Monday, the Lady Trojans returned home to face a ranked BCLUW team. The Comets won the contest 11-0.

"I don't think we were ready to play tonight," Ahrens said. "I mentioned that to the girls tonight in the huddle after the game."

BCLUW scored five runs in the first inning and four more in the second inning by playing small ball against South Tama, who recorded five errors during the first two innings. BCLUW added a pair of runs in the sixth inning to run-rule STC.

"It's something we haven't seen yet," Ahrens said. "Nobody has played that type of game. They are taking the extra base and making us make throws. All they do is slap it down and put it in play. You have to make plays, but we didn't do that tonight. At the end, we were starting to get the hang of it, but by then it was too late."

South Tama will play at the Vinton-Shellsburg tournament on Saturday before coming back home to host Newton on Monday.



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