Wednesday, April 16, 2014
   
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Eventual champs beat Swedes, again

Softball team finishes 25-8

It turned out to be a bad case of deja vu.

Gothenburg suffered its first loss at the state softball tournament Wednesday to the eventual champions, just like last season.

The Arlington Eagles made it through the bracket unscathed to claim the Class C crown.

“I thought we had the hardest draw going in after getting the scouting reports,” Swede coach Roger Neujahr said. “I knew we were in a dogfight.”

It didn’t get any easier in the consolation bracket game after falling to the Eagles 4-1 in first round action.

Neujahr’s scouting report said the Milford Eagles were on a late-season roll winning their last four games and seven of their last nine contests.

The Swedes finished the 2012 campaign with a 25-8 record.

Late runs propel Arlington

Gothenburg couldn’t answer late rallies by Arlington, falling to the eventual Class C champs 4-1.

Neujahr had mixed feelings about the loss, knowing that his team performed well against Arlington ace pitcher Sydney Miller, who gave up just eight runs in four tournament games while fanning quite a few batters.

Swede hitters got the bat on the ball many times, but couldn’t find the holes in the Eagle defense.

“We struck out once against her,” the coach said. “If you would have said going in we’re only going to strike out once, I’d say we’re going to be in great shape. And we were in great shape for five innings.”

Gothenburg players put the ball in the air 10 times for outs.

The Swedes had runners at third and second with two outs in the third frame, but a fly out to third base ended the threat.

Amanda Barkmeier matched Miller’s success by keeping the Eagles off the scoreboard through five innings. No one got past second base until the fifth inning and that two-out rally ended without a run.

The Swedes took advantage of a leadoff single by Hanna Wolf in the bottom of the fifth. She stole second base and then came home on a single to left field by Becca Riley for a 1-0 lead.

Arlington answered with a pair of runs in the sixth. Two singles and a double provided the muscle.

Three more singles and an error gave the Eagles two added runs in the seventh.

Gothenburg couldn’t respond.

“We’re playing them and I realized they are a good softball team,” Neujahr said, “and honestly, I went, ‘Wow, we’re a good softball team.’”

Kyndal Holmes and Becca Riley each had a pair of singles for the Swedes.

Missed opportunities hurt

Gothenburg failed to take advantage of numerous scoring opportunities in a 6-5 loss to Milford.

The Swedes put 20 players on base and had 10 still standing when rallies ended.

“We could have had a key hit,” Neujahr said, “and could have had maybe a little better defense.”

The Swedes committed six errors, including two in the final inning when the Eagles scored the game-winning run.

“I knew there would probably be some errors,” Neujahr said of the game which was played in cool temperatures after starting about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. “I wish we could have taken one away from us and give them one more. It doesn’t work that way.”

Milford fans would say that good defense ended potential Swede rallies. Two innings ended with double plays and a third double play—perhaps the most costly—kept the Swedes from scoring more in the important seventh inning that Gothenburg entered trailing by two.

Milford led 5-3 as the Swedes came to bat in the top of the seventh. A single by Amanda Barkmeier and an error put runners at second and first.

Taylor Wolf lined a shot down the line that third baseman Sara Trojan got a glove on, but just barely.

“It about tore the web off the glove of the third baseman,” the Swede coach said. A throw to second beat pinch runner Kylee Beyea back to the bag for the second out.

“She doubled up Kylee Beyea off second base and (Kylee) didn’t have a chance on that,” Neujahr said.

The next batter, Taylor Wolf, blasted a two-run homer to tie the score.

“If they don’t get the double play, we go up by one (after the home run),” the coach said. “If the girl doesn’t catch it even if Kylee can’t score we’ve got bases load, then Taylor is coming up. If Taylor hits a grand slam, I guarantee you it’s a different story.”

The Swedes had the bases loaded in the fifth with no outs. A strikeout and a double play ended that threat with just two runs scoring.

Another scoring chance was missed in the fourth inning when base runner Shay Wear was hit by a batted ball for the third out. With no contact, at least one run would have scored.

The score was knotted at 5-5 when Milford batted in the bottom of the seventh inning. Alexandra Kenney reached on an error and then advanced to second on a single by Allison Oborny. Kenney was forced out at third on a fielder’s choice.

A throwing error on a ground ball for what would have been the third out allowed Oborny to race home with the winning run.

Gothenburg out-hit the Eagles 10-8 and was handed six walks.

Taylor Wolf had a pair of hits and two runs batted in. Hanna Wolf also had two RBI and Emily Franzen hit two singles.

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