Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


June 6, 2014

Borries, Beecher's bats highlight T-Town matchup

TEUTOPOLIS — The state tournament is the toughest test of the season for a reason, and the Teutopolis Lady Shoes are staring at a huge exam in the state semifinals in the Beecher Ladycats.

Beecher's numbers practically jump off the page. They have a team batting average of .428, they've put up 431 runs this season in 40 games and cleared 10 runs in 30 of those games — all wins, naturally.

While the Shoes have had the edge in run prevention, it'll be a tall task for Kadi Borries in the pitching circle, even with her ERA of 1.50 in 107 2-3 innings this season. Borries has struck out 111 batters while going 17-1 on the season.

"They have some very powerful statistics, they've got a very powerful offense," said Teutopolis coach Rich Niebrugge. "Very succesful program."

Only one Ladycat this season has average below .313, and the team is led by a one-two punch of senior Sarah Crews and freshman Taylor Johnson. Crews hit .577 this season with 10 home runs and 64 RBIs, while Johnson was even better, hitting .594 with 16 home runs and 66 RBIs in her first year of high school.

The rest of the Ladycat offense has been potent, with six more players sporting averages above the .400 mark.

Crews does the majority of the pitching for Beecher, and should be who the Shoes see this afternoon. She's tallied an ERA of 2.10 in 157 innings pitched with a 23-3 record, striking out 140.

So it may be up to Borries to keep things tight like the 2-1 win over Carterville on Tuesday, where Avery English and Borries battled, with Teutopolis coming out on top of a tough Carterville squad.

"Yesterday was a bigger stage, and yesterday was one of the best, if not the best, pitcher we've seen all year long," Niebrugge said Wednesday. "For Kadi and our defense to only give up one run, it's just what you get this time of year."

Flipping the page to the Teutopolis offense, Kadi Borries, Anni Borries, Allison Apke, Madison Cowman and Danielle Repking all sport averages right at the .400 line or better. Repking's hitting .398, Cowman's at an even .400, with Anni hitting . 475, Kadi hitting .490 and Apke leading the team with a .539 average.

They may not have as many bats hitting over .313 like Beecher, but the Ladycats can't and won't play all those players in such a tight leverage game. So it's up to the Shoes offense, from top to bottom, to match an incredibly potent lineup from Beecher, led by Crews and Johnson.

It may help that the Ladycats give up nearly one more earned run per contest than the Shoes as a whole. But even with that number, the Ladycats have racked up 14 shutouts, in comparison to Teutopolis' seven.

"They've got a lot of shutouts, they've got a lot of five inning games," Niebrugge said. "They're going to be a complete team."

It's hard to gauge the competition each team faced along the way, but Niebrugge knows it won't be an easy game for the Shoes, or for the Ladycats, even with their vaunted offense.

"All we can do is give everything we got and hopefully play our best game of the year," he said. "It's exciting. Anyone you play this time of year is going to be really good. It's down to the final four. You're dreaming if you think you're going to get an easy game anywhere."

The Class 2A state semifinal begins at approximately 5:30 p.m., following the Monticello/Rock Island Alleman semifinal at 3 p.m.

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