New Bremen softball wins in 8th on Russell game-winning single

NEW BREMEN – The New Bremen  Cardinals softball team got a bases-loaded single from Chelsea Russell in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Cardinals a 6-5 victory over the Sidney Lehman Cavaliers Tuesday at New Bremen.

The Cardinals led off in the bottom of the eighth inning when Caitlyn Everhart drew a walk. She promptly stole second and third. They intentionally walked Haley Moeller and Julie Brown to load the bases. Following a first pitch ball, Chelsea Russell launched a pitch right back up the middle for a single to bring home Everhart with the winning run.

“Caitlyn was able to draw a walk,” New Bremen head coach Craig Griesdorn said. “She was able to steal two bases and we figured they would walk the bases full and Chelsea got a big hit the time before. She got a big hit for us in the sixth and the eighth and that gave her a couple runs batted in for the game.”

Sidney Lehman Catholic at New Bremen softball photos:

It took a three-run inning  in the seventh inning for the Cavaliers to send the game into extra innings.

“We started out slow,” Cavaliers head coach Bill Booth said. “Our intensity began to pick up around the sixth inning and we played a lot better. The first five innings we were just going through the motions.”

Ellie Sargent led off the inning with a single but she was forced at second on a ground ball by Julie Harrelson. Lindsay Bundy popped out for the second out of the inning advancing Sargent to second where she scored on an error by Moeller on a ball hit off the bat of Andria Thobe.

Brooke Jones doubled to drive home Thobe to make the score 5-4. Ellie Wadsworth reached second on an error with Jones scoring the tying run. Wadsworth stole third, but Ava Schmitz popped up to center to end the inning. The Cavaliers retired New Bremen in order in the bottom of the seventh to send the game to extra innings.

“Our defense was solid early,” Griesdorn said. “Then we had a few breakdowns in the latter innings and most of their runs were unearned. Obviously we have to clean that up and I think we will, but the nice thing is that we responded.”

New Bremen got on the board first with a run in the first inning. With one out, Everhart hit a pitch for a double and she scored on a triple to left-center that scored Everhart.

Sidney Lehman came back to tie the game in the third inning. Erika Paulus reached on an error and she scored on a double by Ellie Sargent. Harrelson grounded out with Sargent going to third, but Andria Thobe struck out to end the inning.

The Cardinals manufactured two more runs in the fifth to regain the lead 3-1. Samantha Luedeke led off with a single, but Brandt popped up. A ground ball by Emily Niekamp advance Luedeke to second where she scored on a triple to left by Rachel Parker and Parker scored on a wild pitch.

With two outs in the sixth inning Sidney Lehman closed the score to 3-2. Andria Thobe doubled and went to third when Wadsworth reached on an error and Thobe scored on a single by Ava Schmitz.

In the bottom of the sixth New Bremen countered with two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Moeller led off with a fly out, but Julie Brown reached on an error and stole second. Russell hit a double to score Brown and Russell moved to third on a ground out by Kristin Sprague. Russell came home with second run of the inning on a passed ball to make the score 5-2.

“It was good that we scored those two runs in the sixth inning,” Griesdorn. “Because the game is not over. You never know when you put the ball in play strange things can happen. The wind is going to be wicked in the spring and that is all part of it.”

The Cardinals (4-3) get into MAC play on Thursday at Marion Local, while the Cavaliers entertain Upper Scioto Valley on Wednesday.