A four run rally in the top of the eighth inning broke a 3-3 tie and boosted Twin Cedars to a 7-4 win over Marion County rival Melcher-Dallas Thursday night in Melcher.
The win raised the Saber record to 16-2 and allowed them to remain unbeaten in Blue Grass Conference play.
In the first five innings of the game it appeared that things were going the way of the Saints. Emile Krpan was dealing goose eggs from the circle while her mates posted a 2-0 lead. But in the sixth inning her defense crumbled around her and the Sabers put three runs on the board and two of them were unearned.
Caity Reed opened the inning with a shot to right-center for a single and Chloe Swank sacrificed her over. A double by Jetta Sterner sent pinch runner Addi Haines to third and Haines scored on an error. Sterner scored when Kaya DesPlanque’s ground ball was booted. DesPlanque scampered home on a double by Rylee Dunkin.
The Saints were not to be denied as they answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game. Haley Godfrey singled with one out and went to second on an error. Kynser Reed brought Godfrey home with a double to the left field corner.
Neither team would score in the seventh inning and extra innings were in order. The Sabers struck first with a big four spot in the top of the inning and all four runs were unearned.
Swank reached when her bunt was mishandled. Swank moved up while the Saints recorded two outs and she scored on a base hit by DesPlanque. Dunkin legged out an infield hit and then Des Planque scored when Brooke Roby’s ground ball was misplayed. Consecutive hits by Ali Mockenhaupt and Grace Bailey sent Dunkin and Roby home to put the Sabers up by a 7-3 score.
But the Saints did not give up without a fight. Riley Enfield launched a laser shot over the left field wall to open the bottom of the eighth. That home run was the 10th of the season for the Saints and that is a MD school record.
There was more to come. Krpan reached on an infield hit and then with one out, Reed and Angel Beaty drew walks to jam the base paths. The next two batters hit shots, but right at people and the game came to a close.
“It was just a bad night for us defensively,” Saint Coach Jim Crozier said.
Caity Reed proved to be a vacuum on defense for the Sabers as she recorded 10 ground ball assists for the game.
“I’m so proud of her,” Saber Coach Zack Dunkin said. “She used to get down if her offensive production was not there. But she has bought into the idea that her defense is very important to us. As her defense has improved, so has her offense. Her defense and her energy make us go and the team feeds off of her energy.”
“This team is beginning to believe in each other.”