It's hard to tell which was more dramatic--the nine home runs hit in the ACGC vs. DMC softball doubleheader last night or the Charger comeback in the nightcap to manage a split with the Lions.
The Lions hit six round trippers while the Chargers had three to their credit. Lion pitcher Olivia Penland had three homers for the day while ACGC's MaKayla Hoing had two for the locals. A big factor that contributed to the long balls was the shortened distance to the outfield fence. At the foul poles the distance is the regulation 180 feet, but as you move toward center field the distance does not increase enough to make the regulation 210 feet to deep center.
As dramatic as the home run derby was, perhaps even more impressive was the Charger last at bat in the second game. After losing to Grandview Christian 7-6 in ten innings, then Ogden 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh on Tuesday, and DMC 8-7, also in the bottom of the seventh in game one last night, one could begin to feel that the Chargers were "snake bit." All that changed in game two!
As the designated home team in game two, the Chargers got on the board in the bottom of the first when Savana Fuller hit a double, was sacrificed to third by Jorja Hoover, and was driven home on a single by Madelyn Kelsey. After the Lions scored a single run in its second at bat, ACGC responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. With two outs, Reese Coffman coaxed a walk, Savana Fuller delivered an RBI double, and Jorga singled to drive in Fuller to give ACGC a 3-1 lead.
DMC had a big third inning when they hit three solo home runs to go up 4-3. Hoing responded with a long ball of her own to knot the score at 4-4 after three innings. Another solo shot by the Lions in the fourth made it 5-4. The Chargers again tied it up at five apiece when Sierra O'Brien walked, was sacrificed to second by Coffman, advanced to third on a ground out and scored on a rare wild pitch by Lion pitcher Penland.
After the Lions scored a run in the top of the seventh to make it 6-5 with the Lions on top, the Chargers were faced with their last bat. With one out, Jorga Hoover drew a base on balls, and advanced to third when Kelsey came through with a long single to left field. Hoover scored when Penland threw her second wild pitch of the game to tie it at 6-6. With Kelsey on third, "G" Hoover hit a ball back to Penland that she mishandled, allowing Kelsey to score from third with the winning run. Sweet Victory!!! The Chargers had broken their tough luck string of last inning losses and in the process had defeated the fifth ranked team in class 2A, 7-6!
Following the game, coach Tim O'Brien commented, "We were due to get one of those close ones." A key factor in the Chargers' play was the fact that they committed only one error last night. This is a team that looks to be peaking at the right time, with tournament play less than a week away.
The Chargers had eight hits for the game, with Fuller having three and Kelsey contributing two. Jorga Hoover started the game and pitched three innings, giving up four runs on three hits, while walking three and striking out no one. Fuller pitched the final four innings and gave up two runs on four hits. She walked three batters and had no strikeouts.
After the dramatic win, to describe the first game loss seems anti-climactic. So here are some of the Charger highlights. Savana Fuller and Jorga Hoover led off the game with base hits and both scored to help the Chargers to a quick 2-0 lead. In the Lions at bat they began their home run barrage with two solo shots to tie it up.
The Chargers scored three runs in the third, as Kelsey, Hoing, and Carrick each had hits with Hoing and Carrick driving in one and two runs respectively. Penland hit her second home run of the game to close the Lions' deficit to 5-3. A big Lion fifth inning netted three runs, to send DMC up by a 6-5 score.
"G" Hoover and Hoing each hit solo home runs in the top of the seventh to give ACGC a 7-6 lead, but it was short lived, as the Lions scored two in the bottom half of the inning to steal the victory, 8-7.
The Chargers had ten hits on the game, with Kelsey and Hoing each having two. Fuller went the distance in the circle, surrendering eight hits while walking four and striking out one batter. As disheartening as the loss was, the win in the nightcap says that the girls have some resiliency and won't let a loss prevent them from bouncing back to play some good softball.
The split gives the team a season record of 9-13 overall and 5-9 in WCAC play. The competition remains stiff as the Chargers will travel to conference leader Van Meter today (Friday) for a doubleheader to begin at 5:30.
First game line score: Second game line score:
ACGC 203 000 2--7 10 1 DMC 013 101 0--6 8 1
DMC 200 130 2--8 8 4 ACGC 121 100 2--7 8 0
Charger Box Score: Charger Box Score:
AB R H RBI AB R H RBI
SFuller 3 1 1 0 SFuller 4 2 3 0
JHoover 4 1 1 1 JHoover 2 1 1 2
Kelsey 4 1 2 0 Kelsey 4 1 2 1
GHoover 4 2 1 1 GHoover 4 0 1 0
Hoing 4 2 2 2 Hoing 3 1 1 1
O'Brien 4 0 0 0 Carrick 3 0 0 0
Carrick 4 0 3 2 KyYoung 3 0 0 0
KyYoung 4 0 0 0 O'Brien 2 1 0 0
Coffman 3 0 0 0 Coffman 1 1 0 0
KeYoung 0 0 0 0 KeYoung 0 0 0 0
TFuller 0 0 0 0