By BRADEN LAYER Daily News
Effingham Daily News
---- — TEUTOPOLIS — The Teutopolis offense went to work early on in Wednesday's sectional semifinal game between the host Lady Shoes and Fairfield. Kadi Borries singled and Dakota Swingler doubled in the first two at-bats, setting up a three-run burst out of the starting gates.
The early tallies were all the offense Teutopolis (19-5) needed, as the Lady Shoes kept Fairfield (13-10) scoreless until the seventh, and tacked on three more runs of their own, to best the Lady Mules 6-1.
"One of the things I did like was that we jumped on them early," Teutopolis coach Rich Niebrugge said. "Our bats came out early looking to rip, I like the intensity we saw."
With runners on the corners and one out, Madison Cowman laid down a perfect bunt for Teutopolis to execute the squeeze play, and the Lady Shoes led 1-0.
Allison Apke stepped into the batter's box and drove an RBI double short in center to score Swingler, and Tara Stephens hit Teutopolis' third double of the frame, to almost the exact same spot as Apke, in the ensuing at-bat. The Lady Mules, playing unusually far back in the outfield, had trouble running underneath the final two extra-base hits.
"I'm just glad those balls dropped," Niebrugge said. "We do have some good batters, some good sticks on our team, maybe they were playing back for that.
"But our girls were aggressive baserunners, they took extra bases both times. I'd like to see those be line drives."
Ahead by three after the first inning, the Teutopolis offense went cold until the fifth.
Fortunately for Niebrugge's squad, the defense did just enough to keep Fairfield off the board. The Lady Mules left 11 runners stranded in the contest, unable to get the game-changing hit when it mattered the most.
After Fairfield left one runner on in the top of inning five, Teutopolis stretched its lead in the bottom of the frame.
Cowman reached on a fielder's choice, and Apke singled and pushed on toward second in an attempt to beat the throw. The Lady Mules toss to the bag was errant, allowing Cowman to coast home for a 4-0 lead.
Anni Borries closed Teutopolis' scoring in the sixth, when she sent a two-RBI double to left center that plated Kadi Borries and Danielle Repking.
"That was nice, that was a big hit," Niebrugge said. "Especially if you saw what was going to happen in the top of the seventh."
Kadi Borries, the Lady Shoes' starting pitcher, made things interesting in the final Fairfield at-bat.
She started by getting the Lady Mules' Emily McKibbon to ground to short, but then fell victim to two walks and an error to load with bags with one out.
Kadi Borries walked her third batter of the inning, Brittney Glisson, allowing the sole Fairfield run.
"Kadi was just a little off, she wasn't missing by much," Niebrugge said. "She found a way, she's a competitor. She's not going to back off."
She responded by striking out Alyssa Kullok, her tenth whiff of the game, and retiring Chloe Hinkle on a pop up back to the mound. The Teutopolis starter finished with six walks, but allowed only three hits to limit the damage. She also finished with three singles at the plate.
Though it wasn't a perfect effort, the Lady Shoes advanced past the opening round of sectional play, where they fell last year to eventual state runner-up Williamsville, to advance to Saturday's Teutopolis Sectional final.
"This was not our best defensive effort by far," Niebrugge said. "We're going to have to be a lot sharper than that Saturday morning, and they're certainly capable of being better. We're going to be ready to go."
Teutopolis will take on the winner of today's game between Shelbyville and Carlyle, with Saturday's game slated for a 10 a.m. start.
Braden Layer can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fairfield 000 000 1 1 3 2
Teutopolis 300 012 x 6 13 3
WP - K. Borries LP - Anderson
Fairfield: Anderson (2B); Walker (1B); Hinkle (1B); Glisson (RBI).
Teutopolis: K. Borries (3 1B); Swingler (1B, 2B); A. Borries (1B, 2B, 2 RBI); Cowman (RBI); Apke (1B, 2B, RBI); Stephens (2B, RBI); Repking (2 1B); Wente (1B).