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By David Sharp
A solid Bowling Green team took advantage of defensive mistakes, handing Highland a 14-1 loss in September 1, 2021 non-conference varsity softball play. After a scoreless first two innings, the Bobcats sent ten batters to the plate in their third inning for a five run lead.
Bowling Green followed with a nine run fourth inning barrage taking a 14-1 lead. Highland scored their lone run when Kirsten Fisher solved Bobcat hurler Tanner Turner for a solo shot home run with one out in the Cougar third.
The Bobcats ran the bases well throughout the contest. Bowling Green got their first two runners on base in the top of the third inning. Grace Deters put the ball in play. A rundown play ensued. Bowling Green was able to avoid making the first out on the bases.
Highland prevented a run from scoring. Bowling Green gained momentum. Kennedy Grimsley drew a bases loaded walk. A fielder’s choice plated another Bobcat run. Avery Gamm and Meredyth Betts had RBI hits.
Emma Harshberger struck out a batter to end the inning. Bowling Green sent ten batters to the plate, scoring five runs on two hits for a 5-0 lead. Kirsten Fisher lofted her home run with one out in the bottom of the third inning for a 5-1 score.
Highland struggled defensively during a nine run, six hit Bowling Green fourth inning. Anna Drebes missed the game due to injury. At least one player was unable to play due to illness.
Olivia Ritterbusch and Haleigh Winter singled leading off the Highland fourth. Tanner Turner struck out the next three batters to end the inning with Bowling Green leading 14-1.
Emma Harshberger pitched around a two out Delaney Feldman hit in the Bobcat fifth inning. Mikayla Dreyer drew a two out walk and stole second base. The runner was stranded when Tanner Turner fanned her eighth batter of the day, ending the game by the ten run rule.
Bowling Green scored 14 runs on ten hits. Gracie Deters was 2-4 with three runs scored and four RBI’s. Tanner Turner was 2-4 with two runs scored and two batted in. Delaney Feldman and Avery Gamm had two Bobcat hits each.
Highland scored one run on five hits and five errors. Haleigh Winter was 2-2 at the plate. Emma Harshberger allowed 14 runs, four earned in five full innings pitched. Harshberger struck out two with four walks.
Each team stranded five base runners on the night. “Give credit to them. They have a great ball club,” Highland coach Paul Scifres said. “We did not have our set defense the way we usually do.”
“We had a couple of players out with sickness and injury. Everyone on our infield was playing a different position. We just had some plays we couldn’t make and gave them some extra outs,” Coach Scifres said.
“Any time you do that against a good team, it usually ends up costing you. As soon as she hit it, I knew it was out,” Paul Scifres said of Kirsten Fisher’s home run. “It was a no doubter. She is a good ball player, but I hadn’t seen that kind of pop out of her.”
“That was definitely a bright side. Our catcher (Haleigh Winters) is a freshman. That was her first varsity game. She came in and got a few hits. Emma (Harshberger) threw well.”
Highland is scheduled to host Centralia in their next varsity game on Tuesday, September 7. The Lady Cougars travel to Brookfield for another conference game on September 9. Highland plays in the Putnam County Tournament on September 11, 2021.