The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

July 7, 2012

Rebels’ run ends vs. No. 1

Solon beats Northeast in regional semis

SOLON — Northeast got off to a good start against the top-ranked team in Class 3A on Friday in a softball regional semifinal.

Things went downhill from there. Solon scored two runs in the bottom of the first on its way to an 11-1, five-inning win.

Aleenah Marcucci led off the game with a single for the Rebels. Solon's defense was pulled in to combat her bunting, and Marcucci ripped a line drive off the third baseman.

Northeast (26-11) managed four hits against Solon pitcher Arran Weeces, and Marcucci had two of them.

She advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt but was thrown out at third trying to advance on a ground ball hit by Carlie Dever. That ended the Rebels' threat in the first.

Solon (34-6) started well offensively to change the game's complexion.

"It was disappointing in how we came out and started the game," Northeast coach Travis Eversmeyer said. "We gave them some momentum right away when we didn't make routine plays."

Emily Bransky led off Solon's half of the first by drawing a walk.

Northeast had its defense drawn in to guard against the bunt, so when Bransky took off for second, center fielder Morgan McAleer was there to cover.

The throw from catcher Baylie Parson got past McAleer and into the outfield. Bransky stole second and raced around to score on the error, giving the Spartans an early 1-0 lead.

After an out, Solon loaded the bases on two hits and a walk. Casey Musgrave hit a bloop single that scored one run.

Northeast pitcher Maddison Daniels stopped the first inning from being a lot worse. The next batter flew out to shallow center, and Daniels struck out Weeces to leave the bases loaded.

"We talk about that all the time, trying to eliminate big innings by keeping runners at bay," Eversmeyer said. "She did a good job of coming out of that one. I wouldn't say it was her best performance of the year, but she's been solid all season for us. (Friday) she fell behind some batters, and a good team like that is going to punish the ball."

The Spartans showed why many think they're the best team in 3A, coming right back to score four runs in the next inning.

"Solon is No. 1 for a reason," Eversmeyer said. "They made us pay right away, and they continued to put pressure on us the entire game. (Friday) they looked like the best team in the state."

After an out to start the second inning, Bransky drew another walk, starting a string of four consecutive baserunners.

After a single, Taylor Nearad hit a two-run double and was knocked in by a Kara Misel single. Musgrave added another RBI single to put Solon ahead 6-0.

"Any time you can jump ahead like that you can become more of a free swinger," Eversmeyer said. "You don't have to play with pressure. ... Solon did a nice job of capitalizing."

Solon kept pushing its advantage with three more runs in the third, including a solo home run by Misel and a run-scoring triple by Alyssa Rickels, to build the lead to 9-0.

"It definitely helps a lot," Weeces said of her team's offensive production. "My team has been doing that a lot this year, and it really helps me relax in the circle."

The Spartans added two unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 10-run lead, allowing them to finish the game in five innings.

In the top of the fourth, someone other than Marcucci figured out Weeces for the Rebels.

Sammi Farrell led off the inning with a double to left field. After Weeces recorded two of her four strikeouts, it looked as if Farrell would be stranded there.

But Brooke Puckett had other ideas; she hit a single that hopped to the fence in left field, scoring Farrell to put Northeast on the board.

Weeces struck out five and allowed only five baserunners. Weeces said she had a tendency to overthink in the circle, which could be a problem for her.

"I have to let it go and just throw it," Weeces said, which is what she did against the Rebels.

"She moves the ball well," Eversmeyer said. "She's got mediocre speed, but she does mix her rise ball, drop ball and curveball very well. We just kind of struggled a little bit. We didn't it hit the way we normally do.

"Another thing Solon did well is jump out ahead of us, so we couldn't play small ball."

Weeces said after a scare in their first postseason game — a 7-6, nine-inning win over Mount Vernon — the Spartans had a new mindset.

"That was definitely an eye-opener for us," she said. "We knew we had to come out hard. Score first, score often was what we kept saying, and we did that."

The loss marked the end of the Northeast softball careers of Farrell, Puckett and Carlie Dever.

"They're come full circle," Eversmeyer said. "They finished second-to-last their eighth-grade year in conference. All three of them were dressing varsity. Their leadership in pulling the eighth- and ninth-graders along and keeping them involved is something I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. They're three class-act girls that our program is going to dearly miss."

But Solon continues on and will host the Class 3A Region 5 final Monday as it draws close to a berth at the state tournament in Fort Dodge.

"There's no pressure at all, actually," Weeces said. "We haven't talked about that; we never talk about that. We just play our game and it works for us."

SOLON 11, NORTHEAST 1 (5 INNINGS)

Northeast    000    10        —    1    4    3

Solon    243    2x        —    11    11    0

Maddison Daniels (4 ip, 11 h, 11 r, 9 er, 3 bb, 1 so) and Baylie Parson; Arran Weeces (5 ip, 4 h, 1 r, 1 er, 1 bb, 5 so) and Hannah Turkal. Multiple hits — Northeast (Aleenah Marcucci 2); Solon (Taylor Nearad 2, Kara Misel 3, Casey Musgrave 3, Alyssa Rickels 2). 2B — Northeast (Sammi Farrell); Solon (Misel, Nearad). 3B — Solon (Rickels). HR — Solon (Misel). RBIs — Northeast (Brooke Puckett); Solon (Nearad 3, Musgrave 2, Misel 2, Rickels, Rylee Smith).

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 4-18-14 1C-Photo, Blackhawks Blackhawks start blue in Cup defense ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues went the distance, and then some, to get the jump on the defending Stanley Cup champions. Alexander Steen scored at 26 seconds of the third overtime to cap the longest playoff game in franchise history and give the Bl

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • River Kings light up the Day DAVENPORT -- Clinton continued its strong season in boys track and field, taking first place Thursday at the Jesse Day Relays on the final day of qualifying for the Drake Relays. The River Kings scored 138 points. Solon edged Davenport Central 120-11

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18-14 3C-Photo, Rasche Clinton tennis splits with Muscatine CLINTON -- The Clinton tennis team faced Muscatine at Max Lynn Tennis Complex on Thursday where it was a tale of two duals. The girls' team won 9-0 over the Muskies while the River Kings fell 8-1. Queens sail in sweep In the six singles matches, not

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Panthers put the hurt on BV PROPHETSTOWN, Ill. -- The Erie/Prophetstown Panthers had an offensive explosion on Thursday to say the least. E/P defeated Bureau Valley 19-1 in five innings on 15 hits, 14 RBIs and seven walks. Three different Panthers -- Kylie Ackerman, Stephanie T

    April 18, 2014

  • Coppess finishes third at North Scott ELDRIDGE -- Clinton senior golfer Brittany Coppess finished third with a score of an 18-hole85 at the Lancer Girls Invitational Thursday while the River Queens finished 10th as a team. The meet medalist was Dubuque Senior's Maddie Hawkins with a sco

    April 18, 2014

  • No Headline Provided Monaghan wins his first fight LAS VEGAS -- Clinton native Todd Monaghan won his first fight on The Ultimate Fighter's 19th season premiere by defeating Jake Huen for a spot to get into the house on the reality show. Much like his life, Monaghan fough

    April 18, 2014

  • Camanche slides past BETTENDORF -- All Kylie Vogel had to do was shake off the cobwebs. Vogel won her match, 11-9, after falling behind 6-0 to Bettendorf's Katie Melbourne in a dual that Camanche won, 6-3. It was Vogel's very first singles match of the season as she's ha

    April 18, 2014

  • LumberKings end a four-game slide BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- The Clinton LumberKings used a 5-run 6th inning to snap a four-game losing streak Thursday night against the Bowling Green Hot Rods. The win was the L'Kings' sixth of the season, and they picked up a game on five of the six team

    April 18, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Golf turns into snooze-fest without celebrities like Tiger and Phil

    The Masters lumbered on last week without two of pro golf's biggest names, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and fans changed the channel. The PGA needs someone with star power if it's going to lure people back to the game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Let the (real) games begin: It's NBA playoff time

    Finally, the NBA playoffs are set.

    It took the entire season to fill out those brackets.

    Overtime thrillers in Memphis and Charlotte, a go-ahead dunk in Oklahoma City to win a game and cap another scoring title for Kevin Durant, plus some good old-fashioned disinterest by Brooklyn ... all that, and more, on the final night of the season was needed before the eight conference-quarterfinal matchups in this season's NBA playoffs could be decided.

    April 17, 2014

High School Sports