The St. Anthony dugout sparked to life as momentum tipped its way in the fifth inning, breaking up a perfect game and scoring three runs.
But the excitement wilted away in the next half inning, when the consistent Altamont bats pounded their way to a four-run response in the Indians’ 9-3 win on Thursday.
The Indians strung together three consecutive hits by the top of the batting order to score two runs, before catcher Lauren White laced a two-run single, with two outs, to put the exclamation point on the inning.
“(St. Anthony) had a little momentum going — a little life,” Altamont head coach John Niebrugge said. “Us responding with four runs took the life out of it and shut the door.”
White’s run-scoring single was her second big hit of the game – the first, a two-run double in the third inning to open up the scoring.
Altamont starting pitcher Deidre Ledbetter regained her confidence on the mound, after the four-run rally and retired all six batters she faced in the final two innings.
Ledbetter took a perfect game into the fifth inning, but St. Anthony catcher Hunter Niebrugge broke it up with a lead-off double as the first of four consecutive hitters to reach base.
“They just finally timed her up,” St. Anthony head coach Crystal Tipton said. “They finally got those hits.”
Kristen Schuette drove in the Bulldogs first run on a ground ball that got passed shortstop Audrey Winters. Then, Maddie Schuette drove in a run on a base hit. Megan Nuxoll got an RBI on a sacrifice fly.
Ledbetter struck out opposing pitcher Jenna Woltman to get out of the inning, leaving runners on first and second base. St. Anthony trailed, 4-3.
“We felt good,” Tipton said. “You start chipping away at that lead and you’re thinking we have a chance at this. It didn’t happen.”
The Bulldogs’ would’ve taken the lead in the fifth inning if not for a two-run home run by Altamont’s Lauren Ohnesorge in the top half of the frame.
Ledbetter struggled with her command in the fifth, Niebrugge said, but regrouped with an 8-3 lead.
“That gave her enough cushion to where she could go after girls and throw strikes the way she can,” Niebrugge said.
Ledbetter was at her best when she was in attack mode on the mound. She gave up only three hits in a complete game victory, all which came in the fifth inning. She struck out eight batters.
She out-dueled St. Anthony’s Woltman, who walked nine and struck out one. Tipton said the walks put the Bulldogs in tough situations. Woltman was chased from the game in the seventh inning, walking the first three batters she faced.
Madison Ohnesorge drove in the ninth run of the game for her second RBI of the night, matching her sister, Lauren, with a pair of RBIs. White led the Indians with four.
Both teams return to action today. St. Anthony plays in the Cross Creek Classic against Teutopolis at 7 p.m. at Evergreen Park. Altamont hosts Stew-Stras/Windsor at 4 p.m.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or email@example.com.
Altamont 002 024 1 9 11 1
St. Anthony 000 030 0 3 3 0
WP - Ledbetter (7 IP, 8 K, 3 H, 3 R, 1 BB) LP - Woltman (6 IP, 1 K, 11 H, 9 R, 9 BB)
Altamont: M. Ohnesorge (2 1B, 2 RBI), Phillips (2B, R), Ledbetter (2 1B, BB, RBI, 3 R), L. Ohnesorge (HR, 2 BB, 2 RBI), White (1B, 2B, 4 RBI), Teasley (2 1B), Tharp (2 BB, R), Burns (1B, BB), Winters (3 BB, R)
St. Anthony: Niebrugge (2B, R), Richards (1B, R), K. Schuette (RBI, R), M. Schuette (1B, RBI), Nuxoll (RBI), Gardewine (BB)