By Tim “Shoe” Sullivan
Two of the best games of the season were played Thursday night at Iverson Park in the Portage County Women’s Softball League.
Two Harps (2-4) withstood a furious seventh-inning comeback by Star Struck (2-6) to win 15-13, and Johnny & The Bootleggers (6-1) scored five runs in the top of the seventh to knock off previously undefeated Rookie’s Royals (6-1) 12-11. Both games were played during a light drizzle.
In the opener, Star Struck outhit Two Harps, 24 hits to 17. However, Star Struck only took two walks while the Harps were issued 14 free passes to first base. “Walks will kill you every time,” lamented Struck’s assistant coach Logan Marcell. He added: “I really liked how we hit the ball, and our gals made a great comeback but just fell short”.
Two Harps took a 3-0 lead in the second on singles by Toni Gaddo, Brooke Sprecher, Darcie Garcia, Emily Schnese, and Kristin DeVogel. Star Struck went ahead 5-3 in the bottom of the second behind singles by Meredith Sikorski, birthday girl Kaitlyn Knutson, Chelsey Zarecki, Readie Meyer, and Karli Homann plus Shae Kellner’s booming two-run double to left. The Harpettes added five runs in the sixth on four walks and hits by Emily Schnese, Alishea Johnson, and Toni Gaddo. Toni, who works at Arby’s, credited her fine performance to the curly french fries she ate after work.
Star Struck got one run in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by shortstop Karli Homann and thirdbase-person Stephanie Lynne. The Struckers added two more runs in the sixth when Readie Meyer singled and Karli Homann followed with a long two-run homer to left. That made the score 8-8 after six.
Two Harps had their biggest rally of the night in the top of the seventh when they pushed across seven big runs. The big rally included four walks and singles by Emily Schnese, Toni Gaddo, and Darcie Garcia sandwiched around Brooke Sprecher’s double. Star Struck trailed 15-8 before coming to bat in the bottom of the seventh. And then all hell broke loose! They scored five runs on a walk and singles by Sara Gray, Shae Kellner, Readie Meyer, Karli Homann, and Stephanie Lynne. That furious rally made the score 15-13 After Stephanie’s single, with one out, Meredith Sikorski singled and Kaitlyn Knutson walked to load the bases. Tying run on second and winning run on first. However, the next two hitters made outs and Two Harps narrowly escaped with a well-deserved win. Toni Gaddo led Two Harps at the plate with four hits while Emily Schnese and Brooke Sprecher chipped in three each. Karli Homann banged out five hits for the losers while Readie Meyer helped out with four.
Two Harps Batting Stats: Emily Schnese: three singles, walk; Kristin DeVogel: single, two walks; Maddie Sprecher: single, three walks; Alishea Johnson: two singles; Kayla Perez: single, walk; Toni Gaddo: three singles, double, walk (and a side order of onion rings); Sara Cunningham: three walks; Wendy Johnston: walk, run; Brooke Sprecher: two singles, double, walk; Darcie Garcia: two singles, walk.
Star Struck Batting Stats: Shae Kellner: double, two singles; Chelsey Zarecki: single, double; Readie Meyer: four singles; Karli Homann: three singles, double, two-run homer; Stephanie Lynne: three singles, double; Meredith Sikorski: three singles; Kaitlyn Knutson: two singles, walk; Sara Gray: single, two runs; Bri O’Donnell: walk.
In the second game, yet another thriller, Johnny & The Bootleggers came from behind in the top of the seventh to nip Rookie’s Royals, 12-11. It was Rookie’s first loss of the year and both teams are now at 6-1. Johnny & The Bootleggers scored five runs in the first three innings on Mak Lee’s triple, doubles by Chel Vidal, Stephanie Thomas, and Taylor Biermeier, and singles by Cheyenne Hahn, Jamie McDonald, and Kristin Felts. Cheyenne, Jamie, and Chel each had two hits during that action. Rookie’s Royals picked up six runs in the third to go ahead 6-5. The key hits were Meg Lee’s triple and singles by Jodi Napiwocki, Bailey Hinderman, Jacci Seefeldt, Val Folan, and Beke Blue. The Bootleggers tied the game at 6-6 in the fourth on hits by Chel Vidal, Stephanie Thomas, and Cheyenne Hahn and went ahead 7-6 with another run in the sixth behind singles by Lena Walker, Chel Vidal, and Stephanie Thomas.
Rookie’s Royals scored five runs late to take a 11-7 lead. The big hits were singles by Jacci Seefeldt, Val Folan, Beke Blue, Erin Laffe, and Meg Lee plus a double by Nicole Kirsch. The Bootleggers came storming back in the top of the seventh by scoring five runs to go ahead 12-11. The winning rally featured hits by Mak Lee, Kristin Felts, Taylor Biermeier, Kayla Keepers, and Stephanie Thomas plus Stacey Zarecki’s walk. The Royals had two runners on in the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t quite get them home.
There were 16 walks in the first game and only two in the second. (The Bootleggers’ Kristin Felts didn’t walk anybody). The Bootleggers had 21 hits while the Royals accumulated 19.
Johnny & The Bootleggers Batting Stats: Stephanie Thomas: two singles, double, walk; Cheyenne Hahn: three singles; Jamie McDonald: two singles; Mak Lee; triple, single; Kristin Felts: three singles; Taylor Biermeier: two singles, double; Kayla Keepers: double; Stacey Zarecki: walk, run; Lena Walker: single, two runs; Chel Vidal: double, two singles.
Rookie’s Royals Batting Stats: Samantha Zommers: three singles; Bailey Hinderman: two singles; Jacci Seefeldt: three singles; Nicole Kirsch: double; Val Folan: two singles; Beke Blue: two singles; Erin Laffe: single; Jodi Napiwocki (or is it Napiwacki?): two singles; Meg Lee: triple, two singles.
Fall League Records: Johnny & The Bootleggers: 6-1. Rookie’s Royals: 6-1. Two Harps: 2-4. Morey’s: 1-5. Star Struck: 2-6.