Butler County Times Gazette
  • Augusta softball gets two dramatic wins for sweep

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  • Augusta's softball team never stopped believing it could rally to beat McPherson in the seventh inning of Game 1.
    In Game 2, the Orioles couldn't believe they nearly blew a big lead to the Bullpups in the seventh.
    Both times, though, Augusta showed the resolve to finish off McPherson.
    McPherson smacked not one, but two, grand slams in the top of the seventh to take a 15-11 lead. But the Orioles rattled off six hits as part of a huge rally to come back and win the opener 16-15.
    Augusta committed a few errors and left the door open for the Bullpups at the end of Game 2. McPherson scored seven runs - most of which came with no outs - but the Orioles eventually put a stop to the rally to hang on for a 15-13 win to complete Monday's sweep.
    "Way more exciting than it should've been," coach Shane Steinkamp said of the finish. "We've got to get a mentality defensively that we have offensively. Because no one's going to beat us offensively. We attack, we're aggressive and we get after it. Defensively, we back on our heels and we don't make plays."
    The Orioles, who improve to 6-0 and play two more games Tuesday against Circle, have had double-digit scoring in five of their six games. In the seventh inning of Game 1, Destiny Williams hit an RBI single to start the scoring. Two batters later, Brooke Eberhardt hit a bases-clearing 3-RBI double. Abby Tipton ended the game with a walk-off RBI single to finish the rally.
    It was a complete flip of energy after McPherson's two grand slams. But, perhaps unlike in past seasons, the Orioles had a spark and belief that they weren't going to lose.
    "They never felt at any point in time they were out of it. The talk in the dugout was 'We can come back. We can do this,'" Steinkamp said.
    Williams finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs. Eberhardt was 4-for-5, which includes a home run, and had six RBIs. Casady Marlnee also hit a home run in the game. The doubleheader nearly turned into a home-run fest as both teams took advantage of the blustery wind blowing straight out to center field.
    After McPherson jumped on top 2-0 in the first, Augusta came back with six runs as the Orioles batted around the order. Katy Nordman had a 2-RBI single, and Marlnee, Kylie Wesbrooks and Courtney Phillips all added RBI singles in the inning.
    McPherson later hit a two-run home run to get the Bullpups within two at 7-5 in the third, but Wesbrooks led the Orioles' third with a solo shot of her own. Kalie Robinson later hit an RBI double to push the lead back to 9-5.
    Page 2 of 2 - Nordman blasted a three-run homer in the fifth to extend Augusta's lead to 14-6. Williams added one more with an RBI single in the sixth for a 15-6 lead.
    But Steinkamp kept telling the Orioles the game wasn't over, especially after watching the Bullpups score eight in the seventh the last game. McPherson hit one home run and had another hit go off the fence to spark the rally.
    But Tipton made two eye-popping plays at second base that saved at least two runs, which would've tied the game. The Orioles then got a grounder to close the sweep.
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