WYOMING - Zach Hebl saw the chance, and he sorely wanted his Midland softball team to take it Monday, June 17.
“We’ve been getting better and better all summer long, so you could see a game like this coming,” said Hebl, as the Eagles led visiting Springville for most of the first game of their Tri-Rivers Conference doubleheader in Wyoming.
“The game was there for the taking, but we let it slip right through our fingers. Chalk this up to being a young team that needs to learn how to close out games, but it was pretty much one bad inning that did us in.”
Midland (0-25, 0-18) scored four first inning when Taylor Bahnsen, Allison Paulsen, Brennah Ricketts and Kaeti Taylor-Mere all crossed the plate, and with the Eagles also playing well on the defensive end, the hosts held the lead into the sixth.
“That was our one bad inning,” said Hebl, as Springville scored six runs in the frame to take a 7-5 lead enroute to claiming what ended as an 8-5 final over a stunned Midland team.
“Springville timed up our pitcher late in the game and after we made a few errors in the field, we lost our lead.”
And the Eagles couldn’t get it back, dropping the hard-fought three-run decision.
“This one hurts,” Hebl said. “This was the first time this season where the girls legitimately felt they should have and could have won. But we did a lot of good things in this game and we’ll use going forward.”
Paulsen led a six-hit Midland offense with two hits while Jayda Thomsen had Oriole hitters off balance for a while tossing a 13-hitter in the pitchers’ circle.
Springville dominated the nightcap cruising to a 13-0 triumph in five frames.
“After a loss like that in the first game, I was worried this could happen in the second,” Hebl said. “The girls were just emotionally spent and the wheels came off in the third inning.”
The Orioles broke a scoreless tie plating eight runs in the third as Eagle bats were held without a hit.
Midland hit the road Thursday, June 20, and gave host Alburnett all they could handle in both games of a twinbill dropping 8-0 and 6-0 finals.
Rashelle Cole tossed a nine-hitter kept Pirate bats at bay until the sixth when the hosts scored four runs to pull away in the opener.
A four-run Alburnett second inning sparked the hosts to the game-two win.