Mulberry Grove Junior High went undefeated in Saturday’s Beecher City Tournament. The Eagles went 3-0 with wins over Beecher City, St. Elmo and Stew-Stras.
“I thought the tournament went rather well,” Mulberry Grove coach John Barnes said, better than I expected.”
St. Elmo went 1-2 on the day.
Mulberry Grove 8 – Beecher City 2
The Mulberry Grove Eagles opened the tournament with an 8-2 win over host Beecher City. Offense was hard to come by for both teams early in the game. The Eagles were able to score one in the bottom of the first and held their 1-0 lead for three innings.
Lauren Robison led off the bottom of the third with a bunt single and stole second. Kassidy Jolliff singled, scoring Robison and putting Mulberry up 2-0.
Jolliff would steal second and third. April Stich laid down a sacrifice bunt, scoring Jolliff and giving the Eagles a 3-0 edge.
Beecher City was able to get two runs back in the top of the fourth but Mulberry plated five runs in the bottom of the fourth to win 8-2.
Breann Tompkins of Mulberry earned the win, going four innings, striking out seven and giving up only two hits.
Jolliff was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored. Robison was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Karissa Woody had two RBI’s.
Stew-Stras 11 – St. Elmo 0
St. Elmo had as many errors Saturday as Stew-Stras had runs. The Eagles committed 11 errors in the 11-0 loss.
“Stew-Stras is a very fast team and very aggressive on the bases,” coach Thomas Fedrigon said. “We didn’t play the kind of defense you have to play to beat a team like that.”
Their hitting wasn’t much better, as they just one hit in 17 at-bats.
The Eagles' lone hit was by leadoff hitter Molly Hill. Audriana Pruett and Elizabeth Guerero were able to reach base via walks.
Tiffany Austin of St. Elmo pitched the whole game. She gave up three hits, and only three of the 11 runs were earned.
“[She] pitched pretty well,” Fedrigon said. “She made some very good pitches when she had to.”
Mulberry Grove 19 – St. Elmo 0
For the second game in a row, St. Elmo was shutout and gave up 11 or more runs. Mulberry Grove capitalized on 13 walks by St. Elmo hurler Danielle Austin.
Mulberry came out and scored four runs in the bottom of the first. Despite getting a couple runners on the second, they could not score.
The flood gates opened in the third, when Mulberry scored the first six batters that went to the plate. They would score seven times in the inning to take an 11-0 lead.
The fourth played out the same way, as the first eight batters would come around to score.
St. Elmo’s two hits came off the bats of Hill and Bethany Oberlink.
Jolliff, Stich and Josie Koontz each had three runs scored for Mulberry. Jolliff and Woody each had three RBIs.
Tompkins earned the win with five strikeouts in three innings, scattering two hits and walking one.
“We just gave Mulberry Grove too many outs,” Fedrigon said. “You will never compete with a team of that caliber with that many walks (13) and errors (12).”
Mulberry Grove 12 – Stew-Stras 2
The Eagles continued their roll in their third and final game on Saturday with a win over Stew-Stras. Mulberry scored 12 runs on 15 hits.
“Stew-Stras was a big test; they were 6-0 coming into our game,” Barnes said. “A state-caliber team.”
Jolliff’s hot bat lasted the duration of the tournament, as she went 3-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs.
Both teams were on the board, early as Stew-Stras scored one in the top of the first and Mulberry answered with two in the bottom half, including a leadoff home run by Jolliff. Stew-Stras was able to tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the third.
Seven runs by the Eagles gave them some separation and put them up 9-2 in the bottom of the third.
They were able to score three more in the bottom of the fourth before time expired giving them a 12-2 win.
Tompkins was 3-for-3 with two RBI’s. Stich was 1-for-2 with a two-run triple in the third.
Tompkins also picked up her third win of the day as she went the full four innings for the Eagles.
She was 3-0, with 15 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched on Saturday. Tompkins gave up just four earned runs all weekend and walked seven.
“Breann really rose to the occasion,” Barnes said.
St. Elmo 12 – Beecher City 10
In their final game of the tournament, St. Elmo was able to salvage a win against Beecher City on Saturday.
The Eagles took advantage of two big innings to build a substantial lead. Six runs in the second gave them a comfortable lead. The lead was threatened in the fourth, when Beecher City came back and scored four runs. Another big inning by St. Elmo in the bottom of the fourth put them up 10-4. Two runs in the fifth put them up 12-4 and would up being the difference in the game.
“We were a little tired by the sixth inning of the game,” Fedrigon said. “We let down a little with a big lead.”
The Eagles gave up seven runs in the top of the sixth before Austin was able to come in with two outs and close the door, giving St. Elmo a 12-10 victory.
Hill was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a triple. Oberlink was also 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. Dunn also had a homer as she was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
“All three had an excellent tournament, both offensively and defensively,” Fedrigon said.
Audrianna Pruett earned the win going 5 2/3 innings, striking out five.
“We got it together and played pretty good defense. The game probably wasn’t as close as the score indicates,” Fedrigon said. “I was proud of the girls coming back and getting a win after the way the first two games were played.”