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Manual RedEye

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Manual RedEye

Varsity softball beats Denmark in epic thriller

Katie Dikes
The Lady Crimsons on the field. Photo by Katie Dikes

On Wednesday, Manual’s varsity softball team beat the Denmark Vikings 7-5 at George Sauer Athletic Complex. 

To start the top of the first inning, Manual pitcher Liv Kunkle (#24, P) got her first strikeouts of the game. 

Following that, Denmark hit a single out to left field, just over the tip of Bella Newell’s (#44, 3B) glove. Another hit-up first base line helped the Lady Crimsons get their second out of the inning. This time out to left field, though, another hit allowed a Denmark runner to score but an attempt at the Denmark’s hitter advancing to second base during the same play resulted in a tag-out, allowing Manual to exchange their gloves for bats. 

The bottom of the first inning was just as eventful for the Lady Crimsons as it was for the Vikings. A pop-up by Savanah Renn (#23, 2B) was dropped by a Denmark infielder, allowing her to reach first base safely. 

Then, Newell hit a single out to center field, allowing her to reach first base and a pinch runner for Renn to reach third base. 

Bailey Fetcher (#10, 1B) then stepped up to the plate and hit a single, too. The pinch runner scored and Newell was able to reach third base, but as she tried to score another run, she was tagged out, resulting in the first out of the inning. 

Hailey Kincaid (#14, P) then hit a single straight to the pitcher, resulting in the second out. However, Peyton Russell (#4, SS) then hit a double, allowing Fetcher to score and the inning to continue. Shortly after, though, Denmark got their third out of the inning after a little pop-up shot by Manual. 

After the end of the first inning, the score was 2-1, with the Lady Crimsons in the lead. 

The second inning resulted in no scoring for either team. During the top of the second, Kunkle allowed the first Denmark batter to walk. A pop-up to left field, however, was caught, resulting in the first out for the inning. 

Following that, Kunkle struck out the next two hitters, ending the top of the inning with relative ease. However, Manual, too, had little progress in the second inning.

Following a quick first out, Jordyn McAlmont (#42, C) then hit a double. However, line drives by Manual were hit to third base and second base, resulting in easy outs for Denmark and ending the second inning. 

By the start of the third inning, the score had not changed, and Manual still remained on top. 

At the top of the third inning, Denmark started by hitting line drives to third and second bases as well, resulting in easy outs for the Lady Crimsons. However, a hit by Denmark up to center field allowed a runner to be safe on first. 

Shortly after, a big hit by Denmark allowed the first base runner to advance to home; Denmark scored and the hitter advanced all the way to third base. Then another hit by Denmark almost allowed the Vikings to take the lead, but it was caught by Kenleigh Cates (#7, CF) for the third out. 

When it came to Manual’s turn to bat in the bottom of the third, the Lady Crimsons came out strong. A line drive down the third base line resulted in a double by Bella Newell (#44, 3B), and a line drive to center field by Bailey Fetcher (#10, 1B) allowed Manual to position runners in both corners. 

Undeterred, Denmark got their first out following Fetcher’s hit with a strikeout. The Vikings then caught a hit by Peyton Russell (#4, SS) resulting in the second out but allowing Newell to score and Fetcher to advance to second base. However, another strikeout for the Vikings ended the inning shortly after. 

Heading into the fourth inning, Manual still maintained their lead against Denmark 3-2. 

During the top of the fourth inning, it was an easy three outs for the Lady Crimsons. With a hit caught by Cates, a line drive up to second base and another easy out beforehand, Manual headed back to the batter’s box. 

However, the same thing Manual’s defense did was what Denmark’s defense did, too. A hit-up to second base resulted in the first out. McAlmont then hit a single up to left field, followed by Cates who hit a single up to second base line, resulting in the pinch runner for McAlmont being tagged out for the second out of the bottom of the fourth inning. Cates was able to steal second base a pitch later, but a line drive up to third base helped the Vikings end the inning. 

With an inning remaining scoreless, Manual still held the lead 3-2. 

To start the top of the fifth inning, Denmark’s first batter hit the pitch right back up to the pitcher’s mound for an easy first out for the Lady Crimsons. 

Then, a hit to center field allowed a runner on first base. A pop-up was hit but then dropped by Manual’s defense, allowing the advancing runner to be tagged out. 

A big hit to right field following this allowed for a single and the runner already on base to advance. Another hit, this time out to left field, allowed a runner to score and also have runners on third and second bases. However, a small pop-up was caught by Manual, ending the top half of the inning. 

Though allowing a run, Manual answered right back. Newell hit a line drive up the third base line all the way to the fence, allowing her to reach second base. 

Then, Fetcher stepped up to the plate and hit a home run, allowing both Newell and Fetcher to score. Kincaid followed Fetcher’s momentum, hitting a single out to right field. Following Kincaid, Russell stepped up to the plate and hit a home run, too, allowing Kincaid and Russell to score. Manual was now in the lead by 4 runs. 

Denmark finally got their first out at the bottom of the fifth inning with a strikeout. Following that, Manual hit a line drive to first base for an easy second out. However, the inning was not over yet as McAlmont stepped up to plate and hit a double. But an attempted bunt resulted in a pop-up bunt allowing for an easy out for Denmark to end the inning. 

After an exciting fifth inning, the Lady Crimsons now led the Vikings 7-3. 

The sixth inning was much more relaxed for both teams. 

In the top of the sixth inning, a pop-up by a Denmark hitter resulted in the first out, followed by a strikeout by Kunkle and a line drive to second base, resulting in the final out. 

Similarly, a line drive to second base by Manual resulted in Denmark’s first out of the bottom of the sixth inning. Following that, Denmark’s pitcher struck a Manual batter out and another line drive up to second base was an easy final out for Denmark. 

After the sixth inning, the score remained the same. 

At the start of the seventh inning, a line drive up to third base resulted in an easy out for Manual. However, a hit by the Vikings out to center field allowed for a double. 

Then another big hit by the Vikings down the first base line resulted in a triple and the Viking’s base runner to score. Shortly after, the ball was hit to Manual’s shortstop, Russell, which allowed for the second out of the inning; the Vikings’ base runner then scored. The Lady Crimsons ended the Vikings’ scoring momentum when a pop-up hit by Denmark was caught and got the third and final out for Manual. 

Already in the lead, there was no need for the Lady Crimsons to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Lily Kilgore (#30, LF) later remarked that she was “glad that we got to play a new team from Wisconsin” adding that “it just added another level of fun to the game.” 

Kilgore added: “[w]e really had to work hard in the last few innings to give ourselves a more comfortable lead and our girls really stepped it up hitting. We did an amazing job in the field supporting our pitcher who also had an amazing game. I’m so proud of our team and can’t wait to see what we do with the rest of the season.” 

Manual won with a final score of 7-5, improving their record to 6-2. Their next match-up is next Friday against Henderson County at home.

About the Contributor
Katie Dikes, Staffer
Katie Dikes is a staffer on Manual RedEye. She loves to write about all things sports, as well as covering Manual athletic events. In her spare time, she loves to listen to 80's music, watch any and everything sports-related, bake, binge Netflix, and read cheesy romance novels. You can contact her at [email protected].
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