Cardinals Grind Through MAC Win Against Minster
In a game featuring 21 runs, 21 hits and nine errors, Thursday’s Midwest Athletic Conference showdown was condensed to one and a half innings where 18 of those 21 runs, 17 of those 21 hits and five of those nine errors occurred.
In an unusually high-scoring affair, the New Bremen Cardinals’ eight-run third frame followed by a three-run insurance inning in the fourth was just enough, while keeping Minster’s bats at bay in a 12-9 softball victory on a blistery Thursday evening.
With the game tied at 1-1, the Cardinals (12-1, 4-0 MAC) opened up an eight-run third-inning as every batter reached the plate and highlighted by Cassidy Smith’s three-run blast to left field.
After Hanna Tenkman flied out, Abbi Thieman hit a single and scored on an RBI double by Marissa Topp for a 2-1 lead. After a Sophie Fox single that advanced Topp to third, Smith belted Minster’s (12-5, 1-2) starting pitcher Jenna Peoppelman’s pitch to left field, unloading the bases and extending New Bremen’s lead to 5-1 with one out.
After Poeppelman was relieved in the circle, the Wildcats struggled on defense, committing errors in back-to-back at-bats, but not before the Cardinals rudely greeted relief pitcher Laney Hemmelgarn with four consecutive singles.
Jenna Broerman hit a single, but was out when Molly Smith’s hit struck Broerman as she headed to second. Smith was credited with a single. Kelly Naylor followed with a single and Jordan Sailer singled to score Smith for a 6-1 lead.
The leadoff hitter in the inning in Tenkman reached on a throwing error by third baseman Lindsay Albers to plate Naylor. Two runs scored in the next at-bat when a grounder hit by Thieman skipped over the glove of Poeppelman — who switched to first base — allowing Sailer and Tenkman to score for a 9-1 lead.
But the Caridnal gave Minster extra at-bats as the Wildcats responded in the top half of the fourth.
The Cardinals helped the Wildcats out with three errors in the frame, beginning with back-to-back errors to allow Taylor Homan and Poeppelman to reach base. With runners eventually on first and third, Danielle Barhorst grounded to third as Cassidy Smith attempted to run down Homan before she reached home plate, but the throw to Topp was late.
Mara Schmiesing followed with an RBI single to plate Poeppelman and moving Barhorst to third. Barhorst scored when Fox airmailed a throw to the plate on a grounder by Emma Schmiesing for a 9-4 score and no outs. Back to the top of the lineup, Karly Richard drove in a pair with a single to close the deficit to 9-6 and with two outs, Jessica Berelsman drove in a pair with a two-run single to close the game at 9-8 as Poeppelman ended the inning with a groundout.
With a one-run lead, the Cardinals added some much-needed insurance against a team that has scored double-digit runs in nine games this season.
Fox led off the inning with a single and advanced on a Smith double for two runners in scoring position with no outs. Broerman’s half swing bolted the ball past first for an RBI single and Sailer recorded two of her three RBIs with a double to plate Smith and Broerman to give the Cards a 12-8 lead.