Trailing 5-1, Caston beats Mac on Hinderlider’s walk-off hit in 8th inning
Harness’ walk, Zimpleman’s pitching aid in rally
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
FULTON — After taking a called third strike in her previous at-bat, Macee Hinderlider fell behind in the count 0-2 but knew to expect the outside pitch from Blayklee Buman.
She got it and delivered the game-winning RBI for the Caston softball team in a 6-5 comeback win over Maconaquah in eight innings on April 22.
Isabel Scales had three hits, two RBIs and scored the winning run for Caston. Kinzie Mollenkopf had two hits, an RBI and two runs scored.
Addison Zimpleman reached base three times on two walks and a hit-by-pitch and also got the win in the circle. Zimpleman finished with no walks and five strikeouts and retired 10 straight batters at one point.
Sydney Barnes ended the streak of 10 straight batters retired when she doubled with two outs in the seventh, but she was thrown out trying to extend it to a triple.
Down 5-3 at the time, Caston then scored twice to tie it with help from two Maconaquah errors. Bailey Harness fell behind 0-2 in the count but came back to draw a walk against Buman, Maconaquah’s freshman hurler.
“That was huge,” Caston coach Jon Burks said. “Huge. I mean, we needed that runner. And with that runner, that allowed us to get to the top of the order. That’s what we needed to do.”
Makena Middleton laid down a sacrifice bunt – Burks called the bunt “awesome” – and when the throw to try and get her at first was dropped for an error, Harness hustled to third.
Middleton stole second. Haley Logan grounded to first baseman Kayliana Williams, who tagged Logan but threw late to the plate to try and get Harness. That made it 5-4, and Middleton moved to third. Zimpleman was walked intentionally to bring up Annie Harsh.
Harsh’s grounder to third was misplayed for an error, scoring Middleton and moving Zimpleman to second.
Mollenkopf flew out to center. Zimpleman appeared to tag and advance to third, but Maconaquah appealed, claiming Zimpleman left too early. The umpires agreed, and Zimpleman was called out for an inning-ending double play.
Zimpleman allowed Mackenzie Butler’s two-out infield single in the top of the eighth but got Williams on a grounder to Maddi Smith at short to retire the side.
Scales then smoked a double to right-center that center fielder Lilly Maple couldn’t catch on a diving effort. Smith sacrificed her to third.
That brought up Hinderlider, who fell behind 0-2 but hit a grounder to the hole on the left side. Scales headed home, and once Butler decided to throw to first, the game was over. Hinderlider was safe for good measure, and her teammates ran out to mob her.
“I was pretty nervous because I had two strikes on me, and I was like, ‘I have to hit this, or this run is not going to score,’” Hinderlider said. “So I had to hit it. … I knew she was going to throw me outside, so I had to prepare for that, but I also had to prepare for the change-up she threw me.”
Caston committed two errors in Maconaquah’s three-run first and two more errors in Maconaquah’s two-run fourth as they fell behind 5-1.
Burks urged his players to stay focused.
“You have to have your head in the game, or you’re not going to win the game,” Hinderlider said, repeating a common Burks message.
Mollenkopf doubled and scored on Scales’ RBI single in the bottom of the fourth to cut the gap to 5-2. Mollenkopf reached on an error and scored from first on Scales’ RBI double in the sixth to make it 5-3.
“I think when they pulled their head out of their butts and decided to play a ballgame,” Burks said when asked what was the turning point. “You know, basically giving them basically all the runs they had with four errors, I believe it was. Once they got through that and pulled their heads out, then we started working. … Their pitcher, she was throwing well, but it was nothing we couldn’t handle. … Our heads weren’t in it, and we had to get our heads in it.”
Caston 6, Maconaquah 5 (8 innings)
Maconaquah 300 200 00 – 5 8 3
Caston 100 101 21 – 6 6 4
WP – Addison Zimpleman (8 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)
LP – Blayklee Buman (7 ⅓ IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 9 K)
2B – Amaya Rader (MAC), Bailey Carson (MAC), Sydney Barnes (MAC), Kinzie Mollenkopf (CAS), Isabel Scales 2 (CAS)