Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

May 6, 2014

Comets come back for 14-9 win

Stew-Stras/Windsor downs Neoga with big fifth inning

STRASBURG — With one out and her team down 6-1 to Neoga in the fifth inning, Madison Quast singled for Stew-Stras/Windsor in her first game in two-and-a-half weeks after suffering an ankle injury against Teutopolis.

That single was the first of seven hits, and Quast scored the first of 10 runs in the fifth inning as the Comets came back to take an 11-6 lead and eventually would win 14-9.

Quast would bat again, single again and score the final run of the inning, and Baylee Quast also returned from a thumb injury to pinch run during the frame, stealing third and scoring on a Kendall Knop double.

It was a shot in the arm for an offense that'd been struggling against Neoga starter Bayley Neece.

"She got (medically) released today," Stew-Stras/Windsor coach Kyle Knop said. "Madison comes in, throws a couple hits in her first game back.

"I didn't envision getting down 6-1, and when the situation presented itself to use Madison, I took advantage of it. She was hitting (over .400) before she out."

Neoga jumped all over Stew-Stras/Windsor, scoring on an error in the second inning and breaking a 1-1 tie with an Amber Potter grand slam in the third and an RBI single by Chloe Padgett to go up 6-1.

Much like the change to send Madison Quast up to pinch hit in the fifth, Knop's decision to switch Kendall Knop for Becca Schlechte on the mound also worked, as the freshman held Neoga scoreless until her team had taken the lead.

In the fifth, Schlechte had a two-run single, Lindsay Burton drove in a run with a fielder's choice, Courtney Schultz had a two-run single, Katie Greuel had an RBI single and Knop doubled in two to put a pounding on Neece and eventual replacement Allison Posten.

"The best way to sum it up is Neoga won the first four three innings and we won the last three innings," Kyle Knop said. "These girls never think they're out of anything with the runs and the hitting they've had."

Stew-Stras/Windsor scored three more in the sixth on an RBI double by Mercedez Austin, a sacrifice fly by Bayleigh Tabor and another Greuel RBI single.

Neoga added one in the sixth on a Kyndall Andrews RBI single and two in the seventh on RBI singles by Kristen Albin and Padgett.

"It was just one inning, one inning where they got 10 runs, and it's hard to come back from that," said Neoga coach Andrea Morgan.

Schlechte took the win in relief, pitching four innings and allowing three runs (two earned). Neece took the loss, allowing nine runs (seven earned) in 4 2-3 innings.

Greuel was 3-for-3 with three RBIs with three runs scored, while Knop and Schultz each had two hits and two RBIs.

Potter was 1-for-4 with the grand slam, Padgett was 2-for-4 with two RBis and Casi Blazich was 2-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch.

Neoga takes on Effingham tonight after playing them this weekend and getting no-hit in a 10-0 loss in a week where the Indians went 1-6. The bats warmed up Monday, and Morgan said her team's ready to keep them going.

"You've got to take the good out of this experience," she said. "Our bats are coming back, going into tomorrow on our Senior Night, and we want to show Effingham we're not that team you saw Saturday."

Stew-Stras/Windsor (16-4) hosts Beecher City/Cowden-Herrick in the NTC tournament Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Windsor.

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