Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

June 7, 2014

Pioneers power past Teutopolis 9-3 in state title game

Lady Shoes take second after loss to Rock Island Alleman

EAST PEORIA — After a week of come-from-behind wins, a three-run home run by Julie Wente in the fourth inning looked as if it set the stage for another Teutopolis comeback win.

It wasn't in the cards for the Lady Shoes, however, as their 3-2 lead fell apart in the fifth and they would eventually fall in the Class 2A state championship game to Rock Island Alleman 9-3 Saturday afternoon.

The loss was delayed by 43 minutes, as the game was suspended with one out in the top of the seventh as Teutopolis batted. After a mandatory lightning delay, the teams trotted back out in a downpour to finish the game, with Anni Borries being hit by a pitch before Kadi Borries grounded out to end the game.

It was a bittersweet ending with some time to process before the official end of the game, but the Lady Shoes came up short.

"Obviously, our spirits are a little dampened," said Teutopolis coach Rich Niebrugge. "It's mixed emotions. Everyone of us came in to the day wanting to win this championship."

Molly Ethington drove in a run in the first inning to put the Pioneers up 1-0, and Rock Island Alleman grabbed another in the second on an RBI by Mackenzie Sanchez.

Teutopolis had a chance to score early with Raegan Drees on third, but a bunt by Anni Borries got Drees thrown out at home, and Borries was thrown out trying to take second to end the inning.

With one out in the fourth though, a day after a big RBI triple in the state semifinals, Wente stepped up and crushed a ball over the fence, scoring Allison Apke and Danielle Repking to go up 3-2. It was her second home run of the season.

"The one I hit today felt really good coming off the bat," Wente said. "I've been trying to work really hard and I'm glad it paid it off. I was just really excited coming into the dugout afterward, and I was glad I could bring the team up for the lead we had."

The joy would be fleeting. Kadi Borries held the Pioneers in the fourth, but Lexi Ferrari tied the game to open the fifth with an inside-the-park home run on a line drive to right field that tailed away from a diving Chelsey Hardiek. The ball rolled all the way to the wall and Ferrari scored.

Borries got an out, then an error by Madison Cowman put one on for Mackenzie Sanchez, who homered to left field and put the Pioneers up 5-3.

Ferrari doubled in two more runs in the sixth, followed up by a two-run home run by Ethington.

Like that, the Shoes' chances had faded and been dampened by a hot-swinging Alleman squad.

"They had good bats. It's the same thing we do," Niebrugge said. "We face good pitchers and they make good pitchers and our good hitters can still do a lot with those pitches sometimes.

"Kadi's a good pitcher and she made good pitches. Sometimes, she didn't quite hit her spots, sometimes she did, and they're just a good hitting team."

Still, spirits were high during the delay, as the Shoes kept their heads up, according to Repking.

"We just went on the bus, we just started having a good time. We started singing, like we normally do," she said. "It got us pumped up, and during the seventh inning, we didn't wanna quit and wanted to keep going."

Both Wente and Niebrugge echoed Repking's sentiments about wanting to continue and not have their season end off the field or on the bus as they waited.

"Both teams deserved this game to go seven innings, so I'm absolutely glad they finished the game," Niebrugge said.

The Lady Shoes tallied four hits, with Wente going 1-for-3 with her three-run home run, Allison Apke and Mackenzie Wermert going 1-for-3 each and Repking going 1-for-2 with a hit-by-pitch off her helmet.

Ferrari, Ethington and Sanchez did most of the damage. Ethington and Sanchez each were 2-for-4 with three RBIS and a homer, Ferrari was 3-for-4 with a homer and a double, and Isabelle Anderson was 2-for-4 with two runs.

Borries allowed nine runs (eight earned) on 11 hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Dakota Stout took the win for Alleman in five innings of working, allowing three runs on four hits, three walks and five strikeouts. Emily Hoffman pitched two hitless innings for the save.

The Lady Shoes end their season with a 28-4 record and their first-ever state softball trophy, finishing second. With a core of mostly juniors, sophomores and freshmen, there's a lot to look forward to for Niebrugge.

"We have four seniors. You hate to see your seniors go," he said. "We do have a lot of girls coming back, a lot of talent coming back. We're going to enjoy the heck out of this today. Next year, we'll come out and do the best we can."

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