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  • Val T.

Hey 19: Lady Zs’ gigantic 3rd inning spurs wins over Warsaw

E. Howdeshell, Miller, Coleman reach base 3 times each in inning


Sports Editor, RTC

WARSAW — The top of the third inning of the softball game between Rochester and host Warsaw all started so innocently on May 6.

Rochester Darah Strasser tried to bunt her way on, but third baseman Lauren Eastwood threw her out.

Then all heck broke loose.

Single. Infield single. Infield single. Grand slam. Double. Walk. Two-run single. Bloop single. RBI single. Hit-by-pitch. Two-run single. Walk. Error. Walk. RBI double. Single. RBI single. Walk. RBI single. Error. Single.

Incredibly, 21 consecutive Rochester batters reached base as part of a 19-run third inning. What started as a 1-0 deficit turned into a 19-1 lead.

The Lady Zs would go on to win 24-5 in five innings, raining hits on a soggy Saturday.

Sydney Haughs had the aforementioned grand slam, a missile to straightaway center that gave Rochester a 4-1 lead. She finished with four hits and six RBIs.

It marked the second straight day Haughs had hit a go-ahead homer after also breaking a scoreless tie with a two-run shot against Northfield.

“I was just looking for my inside pitch,” Haughs said. “I feel like that’s my pitch. I don’t really take it outside very well, so I was just looking for that inside pitch. … I hit the sweet spot. I felt that compared to the last one that I hit that was a change-up.”

Aubrey Miller had four hits and four RBIs, and Emma Howdeshell also had four hits and an RBI. Kylie Coleman had three hits. Mia Howdeshell had two hits and three RBIs, and Kallie Watson and Mylee Heinzmann each had two hits and an RBI.

Maddi Heinzmann, Darah Strasser and Keyton Doran each had a hit and an RBI. Haley Durkes also contributed two RBIs.

Howdeshell, Miller and Coleman reached base three times each in the third.

“Relaxing at the plate,” Rochester coach Jim Coleman said of the adjustments. “We were extremely aggressive on our front foot. We finally started to stay back and let the ball travel in the zone. … It was an adjustment that we had to make and finally got that done in the … third inning.”

Prior to that, Warsaw pitcher Kaitlyn O’Dell had blanked Rochester on one hit through two innings. Rochester eventually knocked out O’Dell and Kali Ousley before a third pitcher, Aubrey Sparks, came in to finish the inning.

“She got a couple of us out the first time, but once we went through the first time and came around the second time, I think we got used to the speed,” Haughs said. “I guess she was a little slower, but as the other pitchers came, they got slower too.”

In addition to the 24 hits, Rochester also drew six walks and stole 10 bases.

“We were extremely aggressive,” coach Coleman said. “I gave everybody the green light once they got on first that we were going and stealing second. We stayed aggressive.

“To flip back, Darah Strasser put down a bunt that the third baseman fielded and made a nice play, but I really think that was key, but that allowed us to feed off that. So kudos to Darah getting that going for us.”

As for the Lady Zs, Mia Howdeshell pitched the first three innings and garnered the win, allowing two hits and a run. She walked one and struck out four. Emma Howdeshell pitched the final two innings and allowed four hits and four earned runs with three walks and three strikeouts.

“It was good that she settled back in and that we got her out of the game after the third inning and got Emma a few more innings,” coach Coleman said.

Rochester 24, Warsaw 5 (5 innings)

Rochester 00(19) 14 – 24 24 1

Warsaw 100 31 – 5 4 4

WP – Mia Howdeshell (3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 HBP, 4 K)

LP – Kaitlyn O’Dell (2 ⅓ IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K)

2B – Emma Howdeshell (RHS), Maddi Heinzmann (RHS), Kallie Watson (RHS), Aubrey Miller (RHS), Taylor Myers (WAR)

HR – Sydney Haughs (RHS)

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