Neoga was down 2-0 in the bottom of the second, and Altamont had loaded up the bases with no outs, but Neoga looked like they’d escape from their fellow Indians.
Neoga pitcher Bayley Neece forced Madison Ohnesorge into ground ball fielder’s choices, getting back-to-back outs at home and keeping the score 2-0.
Then Deidre Ledbetter, who tossed a five-inning shutout, laced a three-run triple, Lauren Ohnesorge walked and Lauren White hit a three-run inside-the-park home run, and it was a completely different ball game.
After going up 8-0 in the blink of an eye, the Altamont Indians won their 15th game of the year and ninth in a row with a 10-0 five-inning win over Neoga.
“Our bottom of the order, the best thing to do is turn them over, get them on and bring on our run producers, Deidre, Lauren and Lauren,” said Altamont coach John Niebrugge. “It might have been a little different ball game if that situation doesn’t happen, but big players come up big. It’s a pretty good formula, recipe.”
Altamont tacked on two in the first when Madison Ohnesorge doubled to lead off and scored on an error by Chloe Padgett, then Lauren Ohnesorge singled in Josie Phillips. They finished it off in the fourth with an RBI double by Phillips, who scored on an error by Neece to clinch the 10-0 win.
Still, Neoga coach Andrea Morgan saw the game for what it was.
“They’re a quality program,” she said. “That’s where we want to be. You look at last year and how we played them, and you look at this year and see the momentous step forward we’ve take. Yeah, we got 10-run ruled. It doesn’t happen in a day.”
Ledbetter continued her tear through the NTC, allowing just four hits, two to Casi Blazich, while striking out eight.
She struggled a bit in the first inning, but took control by striking out five in a row from the end of the the first to the beginning of the third.
She’d strike out eight and allow four hits, even though Niebrugge didn’t think it was her best outing early.
“She actually struggled a bit, first inning she threw eight balls and 12 strikes, which isn’t her, she’s normally working ahead most of the time,” he said. “She battled.”
Madison Ohnesorge was 2-for-3, scoring three times after reaching on a fielder’s choice. Phillips also scored three times with a 1-for-3 day with an RBI, Ledbetter drove in three with her triple and White was 1-for-3 with her home run.
For Neoga, Casi Blazich was 2-for-3 with a double, reaching all three times thanks to an error. Kyndall Andrews and Amber Potter each went 1-for-2 on the day.
“They’re going to make the right plays, they’re gonna get the big hits. We didn’t have errors. You’ve got to beat them play for play, hit for hit, and we didn’t.
Neoga takes on Cumberland today, while Altamont (15-3, 3-0) is set to play at Effingham, weather permitting.
Neoga 000 00 0 4 2
Altamont 260 2X 10 8 1
WP - Ledbetter (5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 8 K, 0 BB) LP - Neece (4 IP, 8 H, 10 R, 8 ER, 1 K, 1 BB)
Neoga: C. Blazich (2-3, 2B); Andrews (1-2); Potter (1-2)
Altamont: M. Ohnesorge (2-3, 2B, 3 R); Phillips (1-3, 2B, RBI, 3 R); Ledbetter (1-3, 3B, 3 RBI, R); L. Ohnesorge (1-2, RBI, R, SB); White (1-3, HR, 3 RBI, R); Tharp (1-2); Winters (1-2, R)