Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


May 16, 2014

Bulldogs walk off in extra innings at City Series

St. Anthony downs Effingham 12-11

EFFINGHAM — UPDATE, AS OF 1:30 p.m. FRIDAY: The remainder of the softball City Series has been canceled.

After Kate Richards reached third with no outs in the bottom of the tenth of an 11-11 game, the Bulldogs’ chances started to fade — and not just because of dark, incoming rain clouds.

Effingham pitcher Hope Collier struck out Kristen Schuette, and got Maddie Schuette to hit a ground ball back to Collier, freezing Richards at third.

But with two outs and the rain moments from picking up into a downpour, Megan Nuxoll hit a line drive past third baseman Shelby Nunamaker to win game one of the City Series 12-11 in 10 innings.

“It was in the nick of time,” said St. Anthony coach Crystal Tipton. “Both teams didn’t want to give up. It just happened we were on the winning end of that.”

Game two was postponed minutes later, with a doubleheader scheduled originally scheduled for today.

It turned out that would be it for the 2014 City Series, as rain Thursday night and Friday morning canceled the rest of the games, giving St. Anthony a 1-0 series win. The abbreviated series win is St. Anthony's sixth straight, tying the City Series at 7-7.

Effingham, the nominal road team, started off the game red hot, with Hope Collier hitting her 10th home run of the season three batters into the game to give Effingham a 2-0 lead.

St. Anthony answered right back with three in the first on a Jenna Woltman RBI triple, a Makayla Walsh RBI groundout and a Kristen Schuette RBI groundout.

It would set the tone for a wild one.

“It was the craziest one we’ve been a part of all year,” said Effingham coach Jerry Trigg. “Just when you think you might have an advantage over them, they came right back and they did the same to us.”

Both teams held the line from there, before the Flaming Hearts scored three in the fifth on a Madison Weis double, an error, and a Collier sacrifice fly.

St. Anthony answered with five to go up 8-5, with RBIs by Richards and Paige Koester, before Effingham scored five runs in the sixth. Katie Roberts and Weis each had RBI singles, Kaylee Tonn had a two-run single and Jenna Wright had a bases-loaded walk.

In the inning, Walsh was pulled from the circle, replaced by Woltman, who pitched 4 2-3 innings and allowed one run after entering in the middle of the fifth.

“She really settled down there after she settled in,” Tipton said. “She showed that’s she growing as a player, so for her as a freshman to come in and take on the responsibility was huge.”

The Bulldogs scored two in the sixth, on an error and a Maddie Schuette RBI to make it 10-10. Effingham scored on a Weis sacrifice fly in the seventh, but Richards tied the game with an RBI and reached on an error in the seventh.

St. Anthony loaded up the bases, but Collier got Maddie Schuette to ground it back to her for a game-saving 1-2-3 double play, sending the game to extras.

Effingham had a chance in the ninth, when Roberts walked and nearly scored on a Weis double, but was gunned down with a perfect relay from Koester to Walsh to Hunter Niebrugge.

“Makayla was gonna have to have a good throw home, and she did,” Trigg said. “I felt with two outs, I thought we had to take a chance.”

Both teams went 1-2-3 in their next at-bats, before Nuxoll’s winner.

For Effingham, Collier took the loss in 9 2-3 innings, allowing 14 hits and 12 runs (six earned). Weis was 4-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs, Collier was 1-for-4 with three RBIs and a home run, while Roberts was 2-for-3 with a triple and a walks.

St. Anthony was led by Niebrugge, who was 3-for-5 with a walk and three runs. Richards had two RBIs and was 2-for-5 with two runs, while Nuxoll went 2-for-6 with the game-winning hit.

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