ACGC Softball Season Ends With A "Well Played Game"
Updated: Jul 10
Grantland Rice was perhaps the greatest sports writer of all time. He wrote about one hundred years ago and is known for his original prose--almost poetry like--style. One of his best known quips was, "It isn't whether you win or lose; it's how you play the game."
The validity of Rice's comment has been debated by sports buffs for a century. Some would say that winning is everything. However, when a team plays well and comes up short, there is some solace in knowing that it was a well played game.
Such was the case last night for the ACGC softball team whose season ended with a 4-1 loss at the hands of Earlham in the quarterfinal round of regional play. It was indeed a well played game.
The seventh ranked Cardinals appeared to be on a mission to qualify for the state tournament, something they have done on seven previous occasions, most recently in 2018. The Chargers were playing to stay alive to play another day. It was not to be.
Cardinal hurler Madeline Janssen looked invincible in the early going, as she put down the first seven ACGC batters in order--five via strikeouts.. Her teammates came up with two runs on a double, a triple, and a suicide squeeze bunt in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead.
The Chargers threatened in their third at bat when the Van Meter sisters both got on board. Olivia singled to left field and Emerson reached safely on an error. Sophie Dorsey's sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third. The threat ended there as Janssen bore down to strike out her sixth Charger batter.
Earlham added a single run in the third inning to increase its lead to 3-0 before ACGC came up with its only score in the top of the fifth. Once again the Van Meter girls were involved in the action. With two outs, Olivia managed to beat out a slow roller for her second hit of the game.
Emerson's fly ball to center field popped out of the fielder's glove and allowed Olivia to score all the way from first and Emerson landed at third. But that was all the Chargers could muster as Emerson was stranded there.
After Earlham added a fourth run in to go up 4-1, the Chargers threatened in the sixth inning when Mersadez Richter and Maddy Kelsey both singled with one out. Jorja Hoover's hard line drive was caught and Janssen again ended the inning with her eighth strikeout.
The Chargers' final at bat found Emerson getting on base for the third time via an Earlham error, but that was all the visitors could come up with. Earlham's quest for a state berth stays alive, and the Chargers will have to be content with "how they played the game."
Richter and Olivia Van Meter had two hits each for the Chargers, with Maddy Kelsey and Emerson Van Meter each having one.
Emerson Van Meter started in the pitching circle for ACGC and went four innings, with McClain pitching the final two innings. Van Meter gave up five hits and three runs while striking out one Cardinal and walking one. McClain gave up one unearned run on two hits and struck out one batter.
"We generated enough base runners, but just couldn't get the timely hits to score," ACGC coach Eric Van Meter said following the game. "Earlham made a couple of great plays in the field to end some innings. They are a good ball club. It's a game of inches--just wasn't our night.
"The girls fought to the very last out all season and tonight was no different. We had a great crowd. I would like to thank everyone for the support all season."
The Chargers end their season with an overall record of 16-14, and a WCAC mark of 10-10. Both are ACGC bests, with this being the first winning season for the Chargers. When Guthrie Center teams are thrown into the mix, the last previous winning season was in 2008.
Charger fans bid adieu to six seniors who have contributed significantly to the improvement of the program. Tori Fuller, Jorja Hoover, Maddy Kelsey, EmmaKay McClain, Olivia Van Meter, and Kylie Young have played for ACGC for the final time. We wish them well--and may they continue to play the game well!
Score by inning:
ACGC 000 010 0--1 6 2
Earl 021 010 x-- 4 7 3
ACGC hitting: (AB-R-H-RBI) Dorsey(4-0-0-0) McClain(3-0-0-0) Richter(3-0-2-0) Kelsey(3-0-1-0)
Rowley(0-0-0-0) Hoover(3-0-0-0) Carney(2-0-0-0) Fuller(1-0-0-0) Young(3-0-0-0) OVanMeter
(3-1-2-0) PVanMeter(0-0-0-0) EVanMeter(3-0-1-1) Coffman(0-0-0-0)
ACGC pitching: (IP-H-R-ER-SO-BB) EVanMeter (4.00-5-3-3-1-1) McClain(2.00-2-1-0-1-0)