Lady Aces survive seventh-inning scare in win at Vandalia

VANDALIA – It’s the type of inning that Mulberry Grove wants to begin avoiding.

The Lady Aces committed three errors but survived a stressful seventh inning at Vandalia on Tuesday to snap a five-game losing streak with a 13-7 win, which saw sophomore Lauren Robison homer and three players collect three hits.

“It seems like that when we have any type of error or mistake, we have two or three,” said Mulberry Grove coach Emily Thomas. “We can’t just end with one, so that is another thing we are working on – once we have an error, we have to pick ourselves up and keep playing.”

The Lady Vandals came into the seventh down by 11, but put the first seven runners on base with no outs, and two of the five runs scored in the inning came directly off of errors.

Freshman Sarah Bigelow was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and freshman Molly Kern and junior Ashley Swain each had RBI singles.

“The thing I was worried about the most after the past several games was how hard we would fight to stay in the game,” said Vandalia coach Brian Buscher, whose team had lost six of its past seven games. “I didn’t care what the score was, because you make your own luck when you stay positive and support each other, and honestly, that’s what happened in the seventh inning.”

Mulberry Grove (7-8) got out to an early lead, scoring three runs in the first and four more in the second.

Included were a two-run single by senior Breann Tompkins, a two-run homer by Robison and a two-run triple by Josie Koontz.

Vandalia senior Megan Godoyo lifted a two-run home run over the left-field fence in the fifth inning to put the Lady Vandals (5-12) on the board

Five Vandalia errors in the final two innings helped Mulberry Grove add six more runs to its tally, and the Lady Vandals committed 10 in the game.

“We were having a really rough patch, and it’s important to get through it,” Thomas said of breaking the losing streak. “We hit the ball well today, and any time we make the other team make a play, there is the opportunity for them to mess up.”

Koontz, Tompkins and senior Kate Jolliff each had three hits for the Lady Aces, who struck out seven times. Jolliff and junior Kayla Zimmerman each scored four runs, and Robison had four RBI.

Kern had her first career three-hit game to break a 2-for-21 slump that dated back to March 31.

“It’s good to see her hitting, and she is capable of hitting the ball hard up the middle,” Buscher said.

Kern had two line-drive singles to center, and also doubled to left-center and reached on an error by the second baseman.

Also getting three hits was senior Kylie Sellers, who had just three hits in the past 10 games.

“She went on a bad slump,” Buscher said. “Kylie gets to wanting to do too many things at the plate, so we got her back to basics.

“She is running through the box like she used to, and is putting the ball in play,” he said. “That’s what we need her to do to get her on base.”

Tuesday, April 22
Mulberry Grove 13
Vandalia 7
M: 3-4-0-0-0-2-4—13-12-5
V: 0-0-0-0-2-0-5—7-12-10
WP: Tompkins; 7 IP, 2 K
LP: Godoyo; 7 IP, 7 K
Lady Aces: Koontz, 3-for-5, 3B, 2 RBI, run; Jolliff, 3-for-4, RBI, 4 runs; Tompkins, 3-for-5, 2 RBI; Robison, 2-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, run, sac fly; Karissa Woody, 1-for-5, 2B, RBI, 2 runs; Zimmerman, 4 runs, 2 SB, BB; Kassidy Jolliff, run.
Lady Vandals: Sellers, 3-for-5, 2 runs; Kern, 3-for-4, 2B, RBI; Godoyo, 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 runs, BB; Well, 2-for-4, run; A. Swain, 1-for-2, RBI; Karlie Bright, 1-for-5; Bigelow, RBI, run; Kelsey Swain, run.

Mulberry Grove junior Kayla Zimmerman receives the throw on a stolen base attempt by Vandalia senior Kylie Sellers in Tuesday’s game. Zimmerman made the tag for the out in the 13-7 victory.

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