B.E. Area’s late comeback trips Fairmont softball, 3-2

TAGGED OUT — Fairmont third baseman Maddy Moeller (right) tags out Blue Earth Area runner Emma Dahl (5) trying to advance to third from first base on a Cardinal error during Big South Conference softball action Monday in Blue Earth. (Photo by Greg Abel)

BLUE EARTH — One inning was all the Bucs needed. Blue Earth Area beat the Fairmont Cardinals 3-2 in Big South Conference softball action Monday.

Through 5 1/2 innings, the Cardinals were up 2-0, but the Bucs used four consecutive hits and an error to score their three runs and take the win.

After one of Jordan Ehlert’s nine strikeouts started the inning, Adrianna Granillo lined a ball past Fairmont right fielder Hailey Meyers. Meyers got the throw in to her cutoff as Granillo was rounding second, but the relay throw was offline and rolled into the Bucs’ dugout, sending Granillo home for the Bucs’ first run of the game.

BEA starter Lauren Madetzke helped her own cause when she hit a hard single up the middle before McKenna Dutton blooped a single into right field.

Emma Dahl then hit a soft grounder that just got past Ehlert and everyone was safe.

With the bases loaded, Ehlert got her second strikeout of the inning and looked as if she might get out of the sixth with a one-run lead. An error on Amarrah Smith’s grounder, however, allowed the runners from second and third to score. Jen Moeller’s quick throw to Fairmont third baseman Madison Moeller resulted in the Buc runner being tagged out trying to advance from first for the final out of the inning.

With a one-run lead, Madetzke pitched a clean seventh inning to end the game.

BEA head coach Terry Ehlert said he was proud of the way his team fought through adversity to come back for the win.

“Defensively, we played well, we pitched well … offensively we just hung in there and in that sixth inning, we just got enough to scratch some accross and it was a nice, hard-fought win,” Ehlert said. “It was a great softball game by both teams.

“We got some baserunners on and we put the ball in play. Once you put the ball in play, anything can happen.”

The Bucs had scoring chances earlier in the game when Madetzke and Dutton hit back-to-back singles in the second, then performed a double steal, but Jordan Ehlert worked her way to two strikeouts and a line-out to get out of the jam.

Madetzke reached second a third time in the fourth when she was hit by a pitch and advanced on a passed ball, but once again Jordan Ehlert collected two strikeouts and a groundout to get through the inning.

Fairmont scored its first run in the fourth, with Sydney Hainy hitting a line drive over the BEA’s second baseman, before Chloe Murphy hit a deep double to the wall in left-center, scoring Hainy from first.

Fairmont scored again in the sixth when Cambrie Anderson reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second after Macey Bearson was hit by a pitch. Jordan Ehlert helped her own cause with an RBI single between short and third to score Anderson and put the Cardinal ahead 2-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth.

Fairmont head coach Haley Loerts said the team just didn’t produce when they needed to.

“We had a slow start,” Loerts said. “Couldn’t get our hits to fall when we needed them to, had some things come together, but couldn’t quite get over the hump to score a run in a couple of the innings.”

Madetzke got the complete-game win, giving up two runs on seven hits, three walks and a hit batter, while striking out nine.

“She (Madetzke) was throwing hard, she was mixing speeds, hitting her spots,” Terry Ehlert said. “She’s been solid all year long.”

Jordan Ehlert took the loss with nine strikeouts, six hits, one walk and a hit batter on the way to three runs allowed in going the distance.

Loerts said the team played well behind Jordan Ehlert.

“Jo has always been consistent for us,” Loerts said. “She always throws a good game. The defense behind her did a good job as well, they made some good plays and stopped some good hits. We just kind of let a couple things get through in the one inning and didn’t have enough time to make it up.”

The Cardinals (2-9, 2-8 Big South) play their next game today when they host Waseca in a doubleheader. The first game will start at 4 p.m. as a makeup for a rescheduled game from May 2.

The Bucs (2-8, 2-6) play host to St. Peter at 5:30 p.m. tonight.

FMT 000 101 0 — 2 7 2

BEA 000 003 0 — 3 6 1

Lauren Madetzke (WP) and Miya Gustafson. Jordan Ehlert (LP) and Chloe Murphy.