Eddies edged in extra inningsPublished 5:05pm Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Coloma softball player Amanda Swihart was able to do what Edwardsburg was unable to do numerous times in Saturday’s Division 2 regional semifinal game.
Deliver a clutch hit.
Swihart’s RBI double with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Comets a dramatic 3-2 win over the Eddies.
Coloma’s Megan Garrod singled with two outs setting up the exciting finish. Swihart then hit a ball that sliced away from Eddies’ left fielder Nicole Brooks toward the fence. Garrod was easily able to score on the play.
“(Brooks) tripped and fell and it was over then,” said Edwardsburg softball coach Randy Brooks, whose team finished at 27-10 with four losses to Coloma (7-1, 3-2 and 5-3 during the regular season).
Edwardsburg had plenty of chances to end the game before extra innings. The Eddies stranded 15 baserunners, including the bases-loaded in the first, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Edwardsburg was retired in order in only the second inning.
“It was frustrating,” Brooks said. “I don’t know how many baserunners we left on. I know we had the bases-loaded at least three times. We just didn’t execute when it came down to it.”
Edwardsburg had the bases-loaded with one out in the first and fourth innings and didn’t score.
Coloma took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth after getting an RBI double right inside the right field line from Garrod.
Edwardsburg quickly came back to tie the game in the fifth. The Eddies loaded the bases with no outs after getting a single from Nicole Brooks and bunt singles from Teryn Williams and Tanner Kiessel. Andrea LaPlace’s squeeze bunt RBI single then tied the game at 1. The rally then ended as Coloma pitcher Emily Najacht retired the next three batters without a run scoring.
“I thought we bunted well,” Randy Brooks said. “We moved the runners over doing that. We just didn’t get a hit after that.”
With no out and nobody on, Edwardsburg manufactured another run in the sixth. Brooks and Wiliams singled and Kiessel walked to load the bases. Then after getting to a 3-2 count and fouling off a couple pitches, LaPlace walked with the bases-loaded to give the Eddies a 2-1 lead. Edwardsburg wouldn’t score again and once again left the bases-loaded.
Brooks was asked about the mood of his team in the dugout after stranding so many baserunners.
“As frustrating as it was, they believed they still were going to do it,” Brooks said. “I think they were very positive. They thought they were going to get Coloma the next time. We kept putting (baserunners) out there.”
The Comets tied the game in the bottom of the sixth after getting an RBI single from Garrod.
Brooks took out starting pitcher Jill Blough after Garrod’s hit. Blough allowed two runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings.
“Jill threw a great game and (Edwardsburg reliever) Andrea (LaPlace) threw a great game,” Brooks said. “Pitching from both teams was very good.”
Edwardsburg had an excellent chance to take the lead in the seventh. McKenzie Creed doubled to start the inning. Emily Shoupe then pinch-ran for Creed and was safe at third on Rachel Borden’s bunt. Borden then stole second with no outs. But, once again, the Eddies were turned away from scoring. After a strikeout, Kara Spencer bunted and Shoupe was thrown out at home by Coloma third baseman Mercedes Angelo on a close play. The third out came on a diving catch in foul territory by Comets’ shortstop Jenna Faultersack.
“We got a late break at third base,” Brooks said about the seventh inning squeeze bunt. “We’ve got to do better than that. That’s part of the execution. When you have the squeeze play you have to take off and have trust.”
To start the top of the eighth, Williams reached on a bunt single. With two outs, Williams was on second base after LaPlace’s bunt single. But Williams wouldn’t get past second as a groundout to the shortstop ended the inning.
“It was like Groundhog Day,” Brooks said about his team’s inability to score with runners in scoring position. “It kept happening over and over again.”
Williams had four hits and Brooks collected three and stole two bases for Edwardsburg. Kiessel and LaPlace each added two singles.
“We won our first district championship in a long time,” Randy Brooks said. “I think the program is on the upswing. Our JV lost only one game all year. We’ve got young kids coming up that are playing a lot of ball.”
The Comets went on to defeat No. 1-ranked Lakeshore in the district championship game 1-0.
Division 2 Regional semifinals
Edwardsburg 000 011 00 – 2 12 1
Coloma 000 101 01 – 3 10 0
Jill Blough, Andrea LaPlace (6-L) and Tanner Kiessel; Emily Najacht (W) and Seralyn Sharma
2B: McKenzie Creed (E), Megan Garrod (C), Katie Scheuer (C), Amanda Swihart (C)
Edwardsburg 27-10, Coloma 37-2