FAIRMONT - Fairmont leadoff batter Courtney Guetter was hoping to get a fifth at-bat against Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial during the home team's second game of a split softball doubleheader on Saturday at Cardinal Park.
Guetter received her wish and capitalized by smacking a 3-2 pitch into left field for the game-winning RBI single with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning to cap the Cardinals' 4-3 comeback victory over the Knights in Fairmont.
"(Sami) Sorenson throws hard and it took a couple of at-bats for our girls to time her fastball," Fairmont head coach Terry Ehlert said in reference to LCWM's junior ace right-hander. "Alli (Moeller) really got us off to a great start with her leadoff double in the seventh inning.
BEATING THE THROW — Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted runner Mikayla Kittock (right) beats a low throw to Fairmont third baseman Micaela Gochanour during Game 1 of Saturday’s split softball doubleheader at Cardinal Park in Fairmont. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)
"Aly Eversman then came through with a big single, and then Guetter delivered the game-winner for us."
Trailing 3-2, Moeller hammered a double to deep center before wheeling to third base on Eversman's sharply-hit single to left. Moeller then scored the tying run and Eversman advanced to third on Tieryn Arens' RBI fielder's choice to second.
Taylor Nuss drew a walk and moved to second one pitch later before Kayla Lardy stepped into the batter's box for only the second time this season. Fairmont's first-year softball player hammered a line-drive to center for the second out.
"We should have been tagging, but Kayla hit the ball so hard that we didn't get back to the bag soon enough to tag up," said Ehlert.
Guetter then worked the count full before lining the game-winning single to left to plate Eversman for the 4-3 victory.
Trailing 2-0 in the fourth, Fairmont manufactured two runs after Eversman and Arens led off with back-to-back singles. Nuss reached on a sacrifice bunt that did not produce an out, but Sorenson nearly worked out of the jam unscathed.
Sorenson recorded one of her game-high 10 strikeouts before Guetter reached on an error that allowed Eversman to cross the plate. After Abby Fitzgerald reached on a fielder's choice that erased Lardy - Arens' courtesy runner at the time, Micaela Gochanour knotted the game at 2-all when her hard-hit grounder to short was misplayed.
The Knights had grabbed the early lead in the top of the first, and later regained a one-run edge in the fifth.
Leadoff batter McKenzie Tibbetts scored two of LCWM's three runs on the game, reaching in the first inning via an error before later scoring on Sorenson's RBI groundout.
Bailey Rustman, who had reached when her sacrifice bunt was thrown away, later crossed the plate on Allie Wittrock's RBI groundout.
Tibbetts then singled, stole second and scored on McKenzie Schaffer's two-out RBI single in the fifth to reclaim the lead at 3-2 for the Knights.
Guetter, Moeller, Eversman and Arens each collected two hits during the Cardinals' second game, while Schaffer went 2-for-4 to top the Knights.
Fairmont right-hander Mikayla Krzywicki allowed three runs - only one earned - on seven hits, struck out two and walked one in seven innings to earn the complete-game victory.
Sorenson gave up four runs - just two earned - on eight hits, fanned 10 and walked four in 6 2/3 innings to take the loss.
The Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Lakers turned the tables on Fairmont during Game 1 on Saturday by plating a solo run in the fifth and four more in the sixth to edge the Cardinals, 7-3.
Hannah Thompson and Marissa Reed delivered an RBI single and a run-scoring double, respectively, to highlight the Lakers' four-run sixth at-bat.
Trailing 1-0 on the heels of Alexandra Thompson's leadoff bunt hit and eventual run scored via Sam Loebertmann's sacrifice fly in the top of the first, Fairmont plated two runs in the home half to grab the early edge.
Gochanour pounded a two-out single, reached second base on an errant pickoff attempt and circled the bases on Kristen Campe's RBI single to center. Campe moved to second when Moeller reached on an error, took third when Eversman walked and scored the go-ahead run when Arens drew a bases-loaded walk.
Guetter later singled to lead off the Cardinals' sixth at-bat, took second on Fitzgerald's sacrifice bunt, advanced to third on Gochanour's deep flyout to center and scored on Campe's second RBI single of the game.
Eversman gave up seven runs - five earned - on nine hits, walked seven and struck out one in 5 1/3 innings to take the loss. Krzywicki struck out two in 1 2/3 hitless and scoreless innings of relief.
Loebertmann allowed three runs - two earned - on seven hits, issued eight walks and struck out six in seven innings to net the complete-game victory for the Lakers.
Fairmont (7-7) travels to Blue Earth Area on Tuesday for a 4:45 p.m. doubleheader.
HLWW 101 014 0 - 7 9 3
FHS 200 001 0 - 3 7 1
Sam Loebertmann (WP) and Hannah Thompson. Aly Eversman (LP), Mikayla Krzywicki (6) and Tieryn Arens.
LOB-Fairmont 14; HLWW 11. 2B-Marissa Reed (HLWW). SF-Loebertmann (HLWW). SAC-Abby Fitzgerald (F), Hathaway Heber (HLWW), Kali Skiles (HLWW), Eryn Kittock (HLWW).
LCWM 200 010 0 - 3 7 4
FHS 000 200 2 - 4 8 3
Winning run scored with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Sami Sorenson (LP) and McKenzie Tibbetts. Mikayla Krzywicki (WP) and Tieryn Arens.
LOB-Fairmont 10; LCWM 4. 2B-Allison Moeller (F). SAC-Taylor Nuss (F), Bailey Rustman (LCWM), Marissa Larsen (LCWM).