ST. ELMO - Altamont head coach John Niebrugge is admittedly a little intense. So much so, in fact, that his team had to remind him to settle down after a sluggish warmup before Tuesday’s opening round of the St. Elmo Regional softball tournament against the host team.
“The girls were getting after me a little bit,” he said. “We didn’t have a real good warmup, I was getting intense. They said, ‘Coach, relax.’”
The Lady Indians took this calm demeanor into their game against St.Elmo/Brownstown, but their performance at the place was anything but peaceful.
Altamont ripped off seven runs in the opening inning off seven hits. By the end of the fifth, the Lady Indians had peppered the field for 18 hits and 13 runs, cruising to a 13-0 defeat of the Lady Eagles to advance to Friday’s regional title game.
“The pitching was there, the hitting was there, the first inning was probably the best hitting we’ve had all year,” Niebrugge said after the game, noticeably calmer. “Sam (Austin) is a good pitcher, we just made good contact and hit the ball up the middle.”
After starter Deidre Ledbetter retired her first three batters, Altamont’s Maddie Ohnesorge took her stance in the batter’s box ready to roll. She delivered an infield single, and there was no slowing the Lady Indians from there. Josie Phillips, Lauren Ohnesorge, Alex Teasley and Maddie Ohnesorge, in her second at-bat of the inning, all drove in runs for Altamont in the bottom of the first frame. By the time the Lady Eagles were able to get their third out, Altamont was already entrenched with a 7-0 advantage.
“That’s a very good team,” St. Elmo/Brownstown coach Megan Burrus said. “We didn’t play our best in the first inning and it showed, it deflated our sails a lot.”