ST. ELMO —
Both Dieterich and St. Elmo/Brownstown's coaches said if their respective teams made the plays defensively, they'd win their NTC quarterfinal matchup Wednesday.
Both were right. Megan Burrus' Eagles played well in the field, making three errors but only allowing one run to score off those errors. Scott Kocher's Maroons made seven errors in an 8-1 loss, with just three of those runs being earned.
It was a big boost for St. Elmo/Brownstown, whose Achilles' heel this season has been the error.
"Big turnaround, we were a little nervous about today," Burrus said. Our defense carried us, and it spilled over into our offense and got a few hits."
The Eagles scored three in the first, starting when Krystyn Fitch reached on an error and scored on another error, Morgan Brown scored on a wild pitch, and after both errors, Audrianna Pruett tripled in a run to make it 3-0.
Kallee Heuerman drove in Dieterich's only run of the game in the second with a groundout, scoring Taylor Wright to make it 3-1.
Offense was hard to come by, as the Eagles turned three double plays and made a number of good plays in the field.
"We hit the ball hard," Kocher said. I told our girls the difference between us and them was they made those plays and we didn't.
The Eagles got two more in the second, with Fitch scoring on a wild pitch and Brown grounding out and driving in a run.
The game stayed quiet from there, with Brown driving in Darby Moss on an RBI single in the fourth and St. Elmo getting its last two runs in the sixth on a two-run single by Bethany Oberlink.
Baylee Scholes got the win, tossing all seven innings while allowing four hits and one walk for an unearned run.
"Baylee is not a strikeout pitcher, she's a let them get it in play and we're going to have to back her up. If we mess up 10 times, it makes it a lot harder to win," Burrus said. "Playing like this, we can play with about anyone."
Pruett finished a home run short of the cycle with a single, double and triple, and was thrown out attempting to grab a second triple in the third. Brown was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a hit by pitch, and Oberlink was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Sydney Higgs took the loss, allowing six runs (two earned) in five innings, and was 1-for-3 on the day. Wright and Whitley Brummer each went 1-for-3.
The Maroons only allowed seven hits, not making the plays they needed to.
"When we field the ball, we can compete with anybody," Kocher said. "When we make mistakes and don't field it, it turns into a blowout.
Dieterich is 3-13 and hosts BCCH Friday in the consolation bracket after the Eagles lost 11-1 to Stew-Stras/Windsor.
St. Elmo/Brownstown moves to 12-11 on the year and plays at Stew-Stras/Windsor at 4 p.m. in Windsor.
Dieterich 010 000 0 1 4 7
St. Elmo/Brownstown 320 102 X 8 7 3
WP - Scholes (7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 K, 1 BB) LP - Higgs (5 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 2 K, 4 BB)
Dieterich: Thoele (1-2, HBP); Wright (1-3, R); Higgs (1-3); Brummer (1-3); Vahling (0-2, BB); Heuerman (0-3, RBI)
St. Elmo/Brownstown: Fitch (1-4, 2 R); Moss (0-2, BB, 2 R, SB); Brown (2-3, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 SB, HBP); Oberlink (1-3, 2 RBI, BB); D. Austin (0-4, R); Pruett (3-4, 2B, 3B, RBI); T. Austin (1-3, BB); Scholes (0-2, BB, R)