By ROGER THOMAS
---- — CENTERVILLE — The two teams combined for 20 runs, 22 hits, 13 errors, and 16 runners left on base.
When the dust had settled, Centerville downed Albia 11-9 in Class 3A, Region 6 softball action Tuesday night in Centerville. The win sends Centerville (20-20) to Osceola Friday night to take on 11th-ranked Clarke. Neither coach anticipated that it would take at least 10 runs to win it. "We'd had some success limiting their offense in our first two meetings," said Centerville coach Nic Belloma. Albia coach Mitch Chance had this to say about the match-up.
"We've been playing better the last 10 games or so and I thought seven could be our magic number."
That's the beauty of tournament time. Often two teams are matched in that dreaded "third time" game and you never know just what to expect. After the first inning, everybody involved in the game and those watching still had no idea of what was to come. The opening inning was one of only two totally scoreless innings in the game.
Centerville stranded a runner in the first and then Redette pitcher, Kiley Micetich, struck out the side in the bottom of the first. Centerville went up 2-0 in the second. The bottom two hitters in the order, Bayleigh Johnson and Taylor Jewett had RBI hits. An Albia error made both runs unearned.
The Lady Dees answered with four unearned runs in their half of the inning. Cheyenne Pottorff had an RBI double and Kaitlyn Spieler, the Albia number nine hitter, homered to left to drive in three.
"We had a chance to just make routine plays and we didn't," said Belloma.
After a scoreless Redette third, Albia added two more to go up 6-2. Lexi Van Polen led off with the first of her three hits and two Centerville errors allowed the runs to score.
Centerville used a big fourth to take an 8-6 lead. Micetich had the first of her three hits for an RBI.
"I had a good night at the plate — finally," said Micetich. "I think it helped my pitching."
Johnson and Jessica Demmry also had RBIs in the inning.
The Lady Dee defense hurt their chances in the inning. Three errors caused all six runs to be unearned.
"There were a couple of plays that weren't really routine but they were plays that we usually make," said Chance.
The Redettes sent 11 hitters to the plate in the big fourth.
"It's all about putting the ball in play and keeping pressure on the defense," added Belloma. "It was good to see because we have been struggling lately."
Micetich doubled in the fifth and came around to score on two Lady Dee errors.
Albia tied the game in the fifth. A Redette error and three consecutive singles (the third by Emma Dinneen for an RBI) plated the first run. Sacrifice flys by Spieler and Makenzie Griffin scored the two that tied it up.
Centerville scored the winning runs in the top of the sixth. Demry led off with a single and would later score on a successful double steal of second and home. Micetich's third hit drove in number 11.
Micetich talked about pitching in a game where there might never be enough runs or a safe lead.
"I just have to keep pitching. I started to have some success with changing speed and drop balls late in the game."
The Lady Dees stranded the tying runs in the bottom of the inning, but their final two hitters both lined sharply to center. Jewett's third hit started the Centerville seventh but the next three hitters were retired.
Albia threatened in the seventh with a one out walk and Van Polen's third hit with two outs but failed to score.
"After the slow start to our season, we came around as a team and had a chance to win here at the end," said Chance. "That's all you can ask for."
Albia finished its season at 15-18.
"We played Clarke tough down here — so we'll go over there and see if we can get it done," said Belloma.
Class 3A, Region 6 First Round
Centerville 11, Albia 9
Cent. 020 612 0 - 11 12 6
Albia 042 030 0 - 9 10 7
Centerville battery — Micetich (WP) (7IP, 10H, 9R, 2ER, 7K, 4BB), Maddy Lange catching.
2B — Micetich.
3B — none.
HR — none.
Hits — Colleen Boyle 1-for-5, Demry 1-for-5, Alyssa Barger 1-for-4, Lange 2-for-4, Micetich 3-for-4, Johnson 1-for-3, Jewett 3-for-4.
RBI — Demry, Micetich 2, Johnson 2, Jewett.
Runs — Boyle, Demry, Rachel Valentine, Katie Ahnen, Libby Sebolt, Kaitlyn Moore 3, Lexi Riggall, Johnson, Jewett.
Albia battery — Van Polen (LP) (7IP, 12H, 11R, 1ER, 1K, 1BB), Dinneen catching.
2B — Pottorff.
3B — none.
HR — Spieler.
Hits — Sydney Weldon 1-for-3, Van Polen 3-for-5, Pottorff 3-for-4, Mary Shephard 1-for-4, Dinneen 1-for-3, Spieler 1-for-3.
RBI — Griffin, Pottorff, Dinneen, Spieler 4.
Runs — Hannah Romonco, Macey Romonco, Anna Riley 2, Pottorff 2, Shephard, Dinneen, Spieler.
No. 11 Clarke brings Chariton’s season to a sudden end
OSCEOLA – After cruising along through the first two innings in a scoreless tie, the Chariton softball team fell victim to one big scoring rally that brought a sudden end to the night and the season for the Chargers at South Central Conference champion Clarke. The 11th-ranked Indians scored 12 runs in the bottom of the third inning, bringing an end to the Class 3A, Region 6 quarterfinal contest early via the mercy rule.
Catcher Emma Fuhs and centerfielder Delaney Richards, both returning players for the Chargers next year, had the only hits as Chariton ends the season with a record of 9-15. No. 11 Clarke (24-9) will host another SCC foe, Centerville, in a regional semifinal on Friday night at 7 p.m.
In other action Tuesday in Class 3A, Region 6, second-ranked West Burlington-Notre Dame (30-5) shut out SCC foe Davis County 13-0 in a five-inning regional first round triumph. The loss ends the Mustangs season at 14-20.
Class 3A, Region 6 Quarterfinals
No. 11 Clarke 12, Chariton 0
Chariton 000 0 — 0 2 2
Clarke 00(12) x — 12 9 1
Chariton battery — Ellie Bengtson (L) (2 2/3IP, 8H, 12R, 8ER, 2K, 2BB) and Emily McRoberts (1/3IP, H), Emma Fuhs catching.
Hits — Emma Fuhs 1-1, Delaney Richards 1-1.