By Jon Gremmels Herald Sports Editor
The Clinton Herald
---- — GOOSE LAKE — When Sydney Grell’s home run gave Camanche its second three-run inning of the day Monday, the Indians got their hopes up for a sweep of their Big East Conference softball doubleheader at Northeast.
The Rebels feared the same thing. They were determined not to let it happen.
Northeast responded with single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to pull out a 6-4 victory and earn a split after Camanche won the opener 3-1.
“We had to bounce back really well, and we did,” said Northeast right fielder Addie Oberman, who scored the go-ahead run. “The homer put us down a bit, but once we got batting again, we got new life. ... We got our heads up better and were able to fight through.”
Northeast coach Travis Eversmeyer said: “I thought we made a couple of good plays after the home run. I’m happy we didn’t drop our heads. The girls bounced back.”
Grell appeared to hit a game changer when she followed an infield single by Jordan Nissen and a walk to Libby Schnoor by driving a pitch over the right-field wall with none out in the bottom of the fourth inning. The three-run shot pulled the Indians even at 4-4.
“It made me happy to finally get a hit,” Grell said. “It wouldn’t have tied the game, though, if my two teammates weren’t on. I knew it would be close (when it left her bat). It’s my first one ever.”
Northeast pitcher Maddison Daniels settled down after the blast and retired 12 of the final 13 batters she faced, allowing only a walk to Grell in the sixth inning.
Daniels’ teammates took care of the rest on offense.
Oberman drilled a one-out double to right field in the top of the sixth, was sacrificed to third and scored on a wild pitch to put the Rebels ahead 5-4.
“If I hit to the right side, I felt I could get to second better,” she said.
The Rebels (6-5, 3-3 Big East) added an insurance run in the seventh playing small ball.
Aleenah Marcucci led off with a single over the shortstop into shallow center field. She stole second and scored on Rylee Dickey’s sacrifice bunt when the throw to first got past second baseman Kylie Vogel, who was covering the bag.
That type of pesky play was effective for the Rebels.
Marcucci opened the game with her third bunt single of the day, moved up on a sacrifice and scored on Kelsey Carder’s single to center field. Northeast made it 2-0 in the second when Morgan McAleer reached on an error, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Emily Franks’ single to right-center.
Camanche (2-2, 1-1) cut it 2-1 in the bottom of the second. Nissen walked with one out and scored all the way from first on Grell’s two-out single to right. Oberman tried to throw out Grell at first — she was successful on the same play for the final out of the inning — but her throw was wide of first base. Catcher Baylie Parson came down the line to back up the throw, leaving no one covering the plate, and Nissen alertly raced home.
The Rebels were back making the most of their offense a half-inning later.
Dickey led off with a single and went to second on a wild pitch. After Carder lined out to left, Dickey advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch from Camanche starter Allie Lefebure. Parson walked and was sacrificed to second, then courtesy runner Alicia Perez scored on Oberman’s two-out single for a 4-2 lead.
“Speed is huge, and timely hits are important for us, too.” Eversmeyer said.
The Rebels didn’t get much offense against Morgan Mussmann in the first game.
“We had two bunt hits and a bloop to right field,” Eversmeyer said. “We’ve got to make stuff happen.”
Marcucci led of the first inning with a bunt single and came around to score on an error, but that was the only run for Northeast.
But Camanche had even less success against Daniels for the first half of the game. She set down the first 13 Camanche batters until Nissen laced a double just inside the left-field line with one out in the fifth. Grell followed with an infield single, then stole second to put runners on second and third, but Daniels struck out Mussmann and got Parker to ground out to end the threat.
She couldn’t stop the damage an inning later, though.
Goldbeck lined a single into shallow right field. Lindsey Grams followed with a grounder to Marcucci, the shortstop, but second baseman Tierra Hildebrandt couldn’t handle the throw at second. Vogel then tied the game with a deep single to the fence in the left field.
“We came here with a slow start, then finally everyone was like, ‘We can do it; let’s go get a hit,’ “ said Vogel, now able to concentrate solely on softball after placing second with Grams in doubles last week at the tennis state tournament. “I kind of figured out what I was doing wrong. I was pulling off the ball and taking my left foot and stepping out.”
Lefebure followed with a single to center that loaded the bases. The Rebels got a force at the plate to prevent Camanche from taking the lead, but that was just a momentary measure. Nissen walked to force in Vogel with the go-ahead run, then Lefebure scored on a fielder’s choice by Grell.
“I’m happy with the split,” Camanche coach Erin Schlotfeldt said. “We knew Northeast had a very good ball team. It lit a little fire under our girls to go out hard.”
CAMANCHE 3, NORTHEAST 1
Camanche 000 003 0 — 3 5 1
Northeast 100 000 0 — 1 3 1
Morgan Mussmann (7 ip, 3 h, 1 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 5 so) and Jordan Goldbeck; Maddison Daniels (7 ip, 5 h, 3 r, 1 er, 1bb, 4 so) and Baylie Parson. Multiple hits — Northeast (Aleenah Marcucci 2). 2B — Camanche (Jordan Nissen). RBIs — Camanche (Kylie Vogel, Nissen, Sydney Grell).
NORTHEAST 6, CAMANCHE 4
Northeast 112 001 1 — 6 9 2
Camanche 010 300 0 — 4 5 2
Daniels (7 ip, 5 h, 4 r, 4 er, 3 bb, 1 so) and Parson; Allie Lefebure (3 ip, 6 h, 4 r, 3 er, 2 bb, 1 so), Mussmann (4 ip, 3 h, 2 r, 1 er, 0 bb, 2 so) and Goldbeck. Multiple hits — Northeast (Marcucci 2, Emily Franks 2, Addie Oberman 2); Camanche (Grell 2). 2B — Northeast (Oberman). HR — Camanche (Grell). RBIs — Northeast (Carter, Franks, Oberman); Camanche (Grell 3).
More photos online Check out the online photo galleries of both the Camanche at Northeast softball and baseball games at Clintonherald.smugmug.com