Dutch erupt for nine-run frame for softball split

Central Dutch Athletics

Central Dutch Athletics

TUCSON, ARIZONA—It was text-book Central College softball small ball.

A marathon nine-run sixth-inning that brought 14 hitters to the plate and featured four bunts, six hits and three Augsburg University (Minn.) errors turned a tight come-from-behind scrap into an 11-2 six-inning rout and a split of a Dutch doubleheader in the Tucson (Ariz.) Invitational Games Saturday. Central dropped its opener 4-1 to George Fox University (Ore.).

The Dutch (4-2) were betrayed by their running game early against Augsburg (4-2), getting two runners thrown out at the plate in the third inning after stranding another at third base in the first and trailed 2-0.

But second baseman Kaitlyn Andresen (junior, Davenport, Assumption HS), who had four hits on the day to raise her season average to a team-high .556, rocketed a run-scoring triple to highlight a two-run fourth inning. Then it was Andresen who faked a bunt to get the Augsburg fielders in motion in the sixth inning, then delivered a picture-perfect grounder through the vacated shortstop spot into left field for the go-ahead run. After a subsequent infield hit, three straight Central bunts got the wheels rolling in the monster frame.

Coach George Wares said it’s important to remain committed to the short game when things go awry, as they did early Saturday.

“You’re going to pick your spots,” he said. “I think we’re trying to get our players to be really aggressive. When you play that kind of game, sometimes it’s the wrong decision and sometimes it’s the right decision and it just doesn’t work out well. We felt pretty confident that would eventually come through.”

Central stole six bases in the contest, including four by school season-record holder Sara Tallman (junior, Pella), who has six in six games. She had three hits and a walk in the two games.

The Dutch, who were limited to two hits in the first five innings by Augsburg ace Sam Anderson, had eight for the game and took advantage of six Augsburg errors. That made a winner of Danielle Riley (senior, Afton, East Union HS), who survived some bumpy innings early to improve to 2-0. She yielded one earned run on seven hits with two strikeouts and no walks. Lauren Shirley (junior, Queen Creek, Ariz., Seton Catholic HS) threw a scoreless sixth inning.

Wares said he’s come to expect stronger efforts this year from Riley, who spent most of her first three seasons on the Dutch junior varsity.

“Last year, with this performance, we would have been really happy,” he said. “Now we’re looking at it as OK and she would say the same. But overall she was good and I’m glad we were able to get Lauren (Shirley) another inning.”

Wares liked the effort in the opener as well against a talented George Fox club, but not the result.

The Dutch grabbed a 1-0 third-inning lead when Tallman singled home left fielder Sadie Baugher (senior, Eddyville, Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont HS). But the Dutch came up empty on a couple of other scoring chances and George Fox broke through against pitcher Mariah Fritz (senior, Tama, East Marshall HS) with three runs in the fifth inning and another in the sixth. Fritz (2-2), who walked three batters in the first inning, yet wriggled free from a bases-loaded, no outs jam, yielded five hits and five walks in six innings while striking out four. Central made one last bid in the seventh inning, opening with hits by catcher Kylie Olson (senior, Mapleton, Minn., Maple River HS) and Baugher, but the rally fizzled.

“They’re good,” Wares said of the Bruins. “Even though it was 4-1, we had some pretty good at-bats when we were trying to cut into that.”

Central outhit George Fox 8-5. The game started more than an hour late and ran for nearly two hours, resulted in the squad returning to the hotel late Saturday evening, but with an early wake-up call looming. Sunday Central takes on Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.) (8-4) at 9 a.m. (Pacific Time) and Wis.-La Crosse (5-5) at 11 a.m.

“Gustavus Adolphus is another solid school from a good conference,” Wares said. “Wis.-La Crosse always seems to give us their best. They will be another two toss-up type of games.”

Audio webcasts of Sunday’s games with the voice of the Dutch, KRLS sportscaster Trevor Castle, will be provided via www.kniakrls.com and can be accessed directly at rdo.to/krls3.

Posted by on Mar 17 2019. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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