But Edwards County refused to go quietly, countering with three runs in the bottom of the second on four hits. Then, after Altamont got a run back on a Cory Dory RBI single in the top of the third, an long homer by Kaitlin Schmittler off the base of the wall 270 feet away in the bottom of the inning gave further evidence that the Lions were a worth adversary.
“That one she hit off the fence is probably the farthest I’ve seen in girls softball,” Niebrugge said. “They were improved from the last time we saw them.”
The Lady Indians looked to finally take control with a five-run sixth, as 10 Altamont batters came to the plate in a five-run frame. A misplayed fly ball by Edwards County centerfielder Shauna Sexton gave Gabby Alwardt a two-run homer, and Lauren White’s RBI single also highlighted the inning.
But the Lions came right back with four in the bottom of the inning, as Sexton made up for her gaffe with a booming three-run homer and another run came in on a wild pitch.
Altamont’s four-run seventh proved too much for Edwards County to overcome, however, as Ledbetter, Lauren Ohnesorge, White and Alex Teasley brought the Lady Indians’ hit count to 18 with big hits in the frame.
Lauren Ohnesorge went 4-for-5, while Ledbetter helped her own cause by going 3-for-5. White and Teasley added two hits apiece to a balanced attack.
“We can hit this way,” Niebrugge said. “I thought we really hit it well today, but we’re capable of this.
“We’ve got three or four girls over .400. When the bottom of the order gets on, that means the top’s coming up with an opportunity to drive the ball. They did that.”
Ledbetter struck out the side in the first and finished with eight strikeouts, but was roughed up for eight earned runs. She managed to go the distance, however, and should ready to go again Saturday.