Hartline home run lifts Bobcats past VikingsPublished 10:25am Sunday, May 19, 2013
Clutch homers highlighted play Saturday at the Kurtis Memorial Softball Tournament.
In the first game, Makenna Hartline’s solo homer in the bottom of the eighth inning with two outs gave Brandywine a dramatic 2-1 win over Niles. In the final game, seventh-ranked (Division IV) Gobles edged the Bobcats, 6-5, after Briana Gildea hit a solo homer with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Niles held off Gobles, 6-4, in the tourney’s only other game.
“We played two good games,” said Brandywine coach Angela Mellott. “It wasn’t disappointing at all. We’re just playing good competition to get ready for districts. I’m liking what I’m seeing out of my team. We’re stepping up and actually hitting the ball.”
It’s the third homer of the year for Hartline, who made contact on a 2-2 count.
“Lot of pressure,” said Hartline about what went through her mind during the at-bat. “I didn’t even know where it went. My dad (Ron-first base coach) said it was out so I just kept running.”
That homer ended a pitcher’s dual between Brandywine’s Mikayla Kemp and Niles’ Molly VanDeKeere. Kemp allowed an unearned run and six hits. VanDeKeere tossed a three-hitter and struck out eight.
Niles took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Sarah Cramer’s RBI single. Brandywine tied the game at 1 on Justine Sater’s RBI single in the third inning.
It’s the first win for Mellott over Niles.
“That was awesome,” the Brandywine coach said. “We knew that we would play with them. Last year, we lost on errors and didn’t hit the ball against them. This year, we had some confidence and had nothing to lose.”
Niles appeared in control in the seventh inning against Gobles after scoring four runs to take a 6-1 lead. Kyle Myer and VanDeKeere each hit RBI doubles and Brooke Wilson and Olivia Jordan each had RBI singles in the seventh for the Vikings.
But the lead shrunk quickly as the Tigers got an RBI single from Sharyena Hunt and a two-run single from Emily Bolhuis to pull within 6-4. Winning pitcher Tala Gentry eventually got a line-out to second baseman Teagen Bays to end the game.
Niles coach Ryan Frontczak felt his team could have played better at the tournament.
“Frustrated,” said the Niles coach. “In the first game, we had tons of chances to score runs and we just didn’t. That just irritates me. In the last inning, we had a runner on second with no outs and the meat of our order coming up and we just didn’t execute.
“I thought we played pretty good defense. I thought we threw well. We just didn’t hit. That’s not like this team. In the second game, at the end, we finally hit the ball. It’s my fault. I didn’t have us ready.”
Jordan, Cramer and Wilson each collected two hits for Niles against Gobles.
“I thought Gentry did a nice job,” Frontczak said. “Gobles is good. There’s a reason they’re No. 7 in the state.”
Against Gobles, Brandywine took a 5-4 lead in the sixth inning after scoring two runs. Rachael Ort’s sacrifice fly tied the game at 4-4 and another run scored on the play off a Gobles error.
But the lead didn’t last for long as the Tigers got an RBI double from Ashley Boyer with two outs to tie the game at 5. After Brandywine was retired in order in the top of the seventh, Gildea hit the first pitch she saw over the fence to give Gobles a victory.
“In the first game (Kemp) dominated (on the mound),” Mellott said. ”She threw good pitches and our defense was solid behind her. In the second game, we had to throw a few more pitches and that kind of got to us and our defense wasn’t making the plays.”
Two Bobcat errors helped the Tigers scored three unearned runs in a four-run third inning.
“The disappointment came from the error that we had on the fielding error on a ball we should have caught with the bases-loaded,” Mellott said. ”I think it hit the top of her glove.”
Kelly Harper collected three hits and drove in two runs for Brandywine against Gobles. Makenna Hartline and Michaela Hartline each added two hits for the Bobcats.
Matt Kurtis Memorial
Niles 100 000 00 – 1 6 1
Brandywine 001 000 01 – 2 3 1
Molly VanDeKeere (L) and Hannah Porterfield; Mikayla Kemp (W) and Justine Sater
2B: Courtney Ankrapp (N), Olivia Jordan (N)
HR: Makenna Hartline (B)
Gobles 010 000 03 – 4 9 1
Niles 200 004 x – 6 10 1
Sharyena Hunt (L) and Briana Gildea; Tala Gentry (W) and Hannah Porterfield
2B: Emily Boyer (G), Gildea (G), Sarah Cramer (N), Kylee Myer (N), Molly VanDeKeere (N)
Brandywine 002 012 0 – 5 10 2
Gobles 004 001 1 – 6 11 3
Mikayla Kemp (L) and Rachael Ort; Emily Boyer (W) and Ashley Boyer
2B: Ort (B), Kelly Harper (B), Haley Rock (G), Briana Gildea (G), Ashley Boyer (G)
HR: Gildea (G)
Varsity records: Brandywine 24-10, Niles 23-15, Gobles 22-4