Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

April 18, 2014

Power surge: Homers help Shoes beat Comets 8-4

STRASBURG — Teutopolis broke open a close game with four home runs and remained undefeated with an 8-4 win over Stew-Stras/Windsor Thursday afternoon.

Kadi Borries and Allison Apke went back-to-back in the fifth, with Borries driving in two and Apke’s coming as a solo blast, to turn a 3-1 tight game into a 6-1 lead.

While Stew-Stras/Windsor’s Kendall Knop nibbled around the strike zone for the first four innings, allowing three runs but keeping the Comets close. It was part of the game plan for Knop, said coach Kyle Knop.

“We know if we’re in the middle of the plate with this team, one through nine, they’re going to kill it,” Kyle Knop said. “If you lay it between the knees and the letters and it’s over the plate, they crush it.”

And that they did. Raegan Drees hit a home run in the sixth out of the ninth spot in the batting order to dead center field, and Apke connected for a second in the seventh — with a bit of help. She hit a long fly to right, which bounced off the glove of the Comets’ rightfielder and over the wall.

While they never trailed, the Shoes’ power bats paid off, providing the cushion they needed to down a previously 8-1 Comet squad.

“They’ve got a good team,” said Teutopolis coach Rich Niebrugge. “The success these girls have isn’t because of luck, it’s because they work hard. Allison works so hard on her hitting, and you don’t accidentally hit two home runs in one game.

“Then Raegan, she’s got a lot of weapons. She can attack the ball as good as anyone.”

Teutopolis got on the board in the first when Danielle Repking doubled in two runs with two outs, but SS/W answered with some sound baserunning. Knop reached on a single, advanced to second on a Becca Schlechte single, stole third and then stole home on a double steal.

Knop would score again in the fifth to make it 6-2, and her coach knew the early aggressiveness was necessary, proved by the difficulties they had against Borries on the hill.

“We knew we would probably have trouble scoring the runs we’ve been scoring against a pitcher of Kadi’s caliber,” he said. “You can’t hardly sit on your hands. With Kadi, you might have two baserunners in the first inning and not have another for the next two or three innings.”

Teutopolis scored again in the second when Kaitlin Smith scored on a two-out error on a Madison Cowman grounder, and the homers provided the rest of the offense.

The Comets pushed across two more in the seventh, when Schlechte doubled in Knop and came around to score on a groundout by Kennedy Ferris.

Borries got the win, earning praise from her coach for taking down a tough Comet squad.

“She didn’t have her top stuff, she knew it; to her credit, she told me,” Niebrugge said. “That’s vintage Kadi, saying ‘I’m going to find a way to make this work.’”

She was 2-for-4 at the plate with a homer and a double, Apke was 2-for-3 with two home runs, three runs and two RBIs, and Drees was 1-for-2 with the homer.

For the Comets, Knop was 2-for-3 with a walk and three runs, Schlechte was 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a run, while Lindsay Burton and Courtney Schultz each went 1-for-3.

Stew-Stras/Windsor is now 8-2 and plays three games Saturday at Ramsey, while Teutoplis stays unbeaten at 14-0 and plays Monday at home against Vandalia.

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