Lipsh sacrifice fly in ninth propels De Pere to victory
By Josh Staloch
The De Pere softball team picked up a Fox River Classic Conference win May 6, battling visiting Bay Port into the ninth inning before closing it out with a bases-loaded, sacrifice fly by Lexi Lipsh in a 5-4 victory.
“We like to use the term ‘resiliency’ lots,” said De Pere head coach Matt Eakin. “We’ve coached these seniors since U10, so they’re familiar with how we do things. They don’t know how to give up – they battle. We have good senior leadership, so our younger players pick up on it.”
Lipsh, who played solid defense at first base all game, got her shot at redemption in the bottom of the ninth inning.
With the bases loaded and one out, Lipsh managed to get ahold of an Alexis Watson pitch for a fly ball that sailed deep enough into the outfield to score Mikayla McWilliams to end the game.
“Bay Port has always been a good team since I started coaching,” Eakin said. “We have tons of respect for their program and their players, a lot of whom I’ve known since U10. We beat a good team today, but I hope they don’t hang their heads. I hope they’re thinking about how they lost to another good team today.”
Watson helped her cause on the mound by cranking a double in the top of the third inning to score Mady Wolfgram from second base for a 1-0 Bay Port lead.
De Pere came back in the bottom of the third.
Both Megan Behnke and Annika Dugenske reached first via walks before Emily Blomquist singled to load the bases.
Following a meeting on the mound from Bay Port head coach Amber Francour, Watson mowed down the next batter.
With two away, Alexandria Stathas pummeled a double to center, scoring three runs to give the Redbirds a 3-1 advantage.
De Pere pitcher Jessica Lamirande took care of the next three Bay Port batters in order before being replaced by Grace Baugnet in the fifth inning.
Baugnet got off to a solid start, quickly putting away two Bay Port batters.
Callie Dickie had a well-hit single to keep things going, followed by a walk from Kerena Wood.
Watson had another big hit – this one, an RBI single that scored Dickie.
Emma Krueger then connected on a two-run single to the Pirates a 4-3 lead.
The sixth inning featured Watson and Baugnet each taking care of the three batters they faced before Baugnet put together another one, two, three sit down of Bay Port in the top of the seventh.
Then the Redbirds’ offense went to work in the bottom of the seventh.
Megan Behnke reached first before Dugenske moved her to third with a sacrifice bunt.
With runners on first and third and one out, McWilliams made contact, and while she couldn’t beat the throw to first, the grounder scored Behnke to tie the game, 4-4.
With two down and the bases loaded, Watson hurled a strikeout on a 3-2 count against Lipsh, who got her shot at redemption an inning later to end the game.