Cavalettes rally to beat Blazers
Demmith hits game-winner in Division 4 softball regional opener
By TOM KAESER
|Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy coach Shirley Martin hugs pitcher Kristen Sorensen as Sierra Demmith races in from first base to join the celebration after the Cavalettes’ regional tournament win over NEW Lutheran Thursday. EagleHerald/Tom Kaeser|
|Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy third baseman Melissa Bushmaker slaps a tag on |
a NEW Lutheran baserunner during their Division 4 regional tournament game Thursday at Higley Field. EagleHerald/Tom Kaeser
EagleHerald assistant sports editor
MARINETTE - High stakes and high drama ended in high-fives for the Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy Cavalettes Thursday afternoon.
The Cavalettes wiped out two-run deficits twice in a 7-5 triumph over NEW Lutheran in a Division 4 regional tournament opener at Higley Field.
"It feels sweet!" exclaimed coach Shirley Martin, after rushing to the mound and hugging pitcher Kristen Sorensen. "They played their hearts out. This is important to the girls."
The Blazers held a 5-3 lead in the fifth inning when the Cavalettes took advantage of Kayla Baneck's control problems and a huge, two-out single from Sierra Demmith to grab their 7-5 lead.
Lynsee Hannon and Kayla Boye drew back-to-back walks with one out, setting up Kayla Van Lanen's RBI single to center.
After Vanessa Hanrahan was hit with a pitch to reload the bases, the Blazers forced out a runner at home. Alyssa Hornick drew the third walk of the inning to force in the tying run.
Demmith, the No. 8 hitter in the lineup, lasered a two-run shot single to right to give Lena/STAA its two-run margin.
Sorensen walked off the Higley Field mound for the final time a winner as she checked the Blazers on five hits, while walking five and fanning five.
"She did a great game," said Martin. "I can't say enough about what she's meant to this team."
Sorensen was nails in the clutch, stranding seven Blazers in scoring position.
NEW Lutheran jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on an Emily Bukowski's RBI triple and Karissa Vos Kamp's RBI double. Sorensen held the two Blazer sluggers 0 for 4 the rest of the way.
The Cavalettes cut the lead in half in their half of the first on walks to Boye and Van Lanen and a wild pitch that allowed Boyle to race home.
Beckah McClellan ripped a two-run, two-out double to help jack the Blazers to a 5-3 lead. Three walks and an error held breath life into the big inning.
Lena/STAA chipped the deficit to 5-3 in the fourth on walks to Sorensen and Hornick and Demmith single.
Demmith had two hits and drove in three runs to lead the Cavalettes' five-hit attack. Sorensen had two hits and Hannon and Hornick each reached base three times.
"Every time you win a regional game it's important," said Martin. "We're starting to hit the ball. We're peaking at the right time."
Baneck gave up 11 walks and struck out four while taking the loss.
Lydia Rusch had two hits for the Blazers, who were winless in the Packerland Conference.
The Cavalettes will play at Packerland champion Algoma Tuesday.
WP - Kristen Sorensen 7IP, 5R, 3ER, 6H, 5W, 5K
LP - Kayla Baneck 6IP, 7R, 6ER, 5H, 11W, 4K
Leading htters: Lena/STAA (Sierra Demmith 2x4, 3RBI; Sorensen 2x3) NEW Lutheran (Lydia Rusch 2x3; Emily Burkowski 1x3, 3B; Karissa Vos Kamp 1x3, 2B; Beckah McClelland 1x4, 2B, 2RBI)
NEW Lutheran 200 300 0 - 5
Lena/STAA 110 140 0 - 7
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