By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Preble softball team scored four runs in the opening inning and held on to defeat a pesky Bay Port team, 5-3, April 4 at the frigid Finger Road Softball Complex.
Ally Eden was the winning pitcher for the Hornets giving up three runs in a complete game.
Nicole Vandervest took the loss for the Pirates giving up five runs in six innings.
“That’s (Eden) a player that has come up through the ranks and paid her dues,” said Hornets head coach Ron Metzler. “She pitched really well tonight, having a number of strikeouts.”
The Hornets jumped on the scoreboard early and often in the bottom of the first with Lydia Foytik, Keegan Piton, Eden, and Mel Siudzinski all scoring.
In fact, when the dust had settled, eight of the nine batters had gotten an attempt at the plate.
Finally, Bay Port got out of the inning with an infield groundout.
“With teams this evenly matched in conference, it’s everything to get out to a great start,” added Metzler. “Some of it we earned and some of it was good fortune. As a coach, it is a bit of a relief to know you are playing with a lead.”
The Pirates struck for a lone run in the top of the fourth after Emma Krueger led off with a double and Kyleigh Schuette followed with a single.
After a force out, Maddy Ehlke laced a double down the third base line that scored Schuette to trim the Preble lead to 4-1.
A subsequent strikeout and groundout ended any momentum Bay Port had.
“I feel like our bats didn’t come out strong to begin the game,” said Bay Port head coach Amber Francour. “We had some hits through the first six or so innings but couldn’t string anything significant together.”
The Hornets added a fifth run in the bottom of the sixth after an errant throw brought home Foytik from third.
Bay Port had one last hurrah left in them.
In the top of the seventh, Karigann Wood and Hailey Dickie put baserunners on for the Pirates.
With two outs and down to their last at bat, Vanessa Bushmaker ticked the ball and it stood just beyond home plate, loading the bases.
Krueger then corralled two RBIs by blasting a shot up the middle, making the deficit 5-3.
With two on and Schuette up to bat, the Pirates had visions of extra innings.
Fortunately, for the Hornets, Eden was able to gather the final out.
“I’m proud of the resiliency the girls showed in the final inning,” Metzler said about his team. “Bay Port came on strong and made us fight to the end.”
Bay Port: 000 100 2—3
Green Bay Preble: 400 001 x—5