A-W uses extra inning to beat West Monona

Posted July 18, 2018 at 5:40 pm

*Nevaeh Beyer.tif

By Hank Krause

The Akron-Westfield girls’ softball team advances to the state tournament with a 6-5 win in eight innings in the Class 1A Region 8 championships on July 9.

A-W led 1-0 but fell behind 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth. A-W loaded the bases before Danika Smith hit a two-run single to make it 5-4.

When we trailed 5-2, I thought it was all over for this year but I was wrong again.

In A-W’s half of the seventh, Kiana Appley walked then swiped second. Courtney Waterbury got a base hit to right field, and Appley raced home to tie it at five.

WM is a good hitting team and put the ball in play. With WM holding a 3-2 lead, Macie McCall launched one over the left center field fence. WM scored one more run to lead 5-2 at that time.

All the fans of both teams were very tense at that point. Brynn Van Eldik walked to lead off the inning. She stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Van Eldik was on third, and Jaden Harris was at the plate. Everybody knew what was going to happen. Harris laid down a bunt, and Van Eldik threw on the afterburner as she raced home to beat the throw. A-W was now 6, WM 5.

A-W used three pitchers in the game. Natalie Nielsen started but had her troubles. Jaden Harris relieved Nielsen and wasn’t real effective. Coach Todd Colt then brought Nielsen back in to pitch but had a little trouble. Colt went to the pen one more time as he brought his little-bitty left-hander Megan Meinen to pitch.

Meinen proved to be the answer as she held WM to two hits and no runs to pick up the win.

One of the outstanding plays of the game was a 5-4-1 double-play. Lily Kenny fielded a bunt and then fired to Jaden Harris, who was covering first, for one out. Harris then fired the ball to Meinen, who was covering third. It was a great defensive play.

Another fielding gem was pulled off by WM. Kenny hit a shot up the middle. Lexy Lander, WM’s pitcher, deflected the ball into the air and shortstop Miss Rotnicht charged in and made a great catch just off the ground for an out.

Win or lose, it was a great game witnessed by a very large crowd. WM had a huge following and were really decent fans.

We travel to Fort Dodge on Monday for the girls’ 14th try out of the last 16 years. That’s not too bad for a bunch of kids from little ‘ole Akron-Westfield.

All ends that ends well. Coach Colt, playing golf that morning, got a hole-in-one on No. 8. The only trouble was that there wasn’t a soul on the course to witness it.

We all know Dallas and Clarice Wilken. The Wilkens are going to spend a bundle on T-shirts at the state meet. It happens that the Wilkens will have five granddaughters playing in the meet. A-W has two, Newell-Fonda has two and Spirit Lake has one. That has to be a first.

WM 0-1-1-1-2-0-0-0 = 5-8-1

A-W 1-0-0-1-0-2-1-1 = 6-7-2

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