The Black Tigers overcame some defensive struggles but persevered to become the Battle of the Falls champions.
The Black Tigers took an early lead in the bottom of the second inning as they pushed three runs across the plate. Julee Phillips singled to centerfield and Avery Burns replaced her on the base path. Megan Cowher singled to left field to put runners on first and second. Alayna Metheny entered the game to run for Megan. Kenzie Kramer had an RBI single to center field which advanced Alayna to third base. Grace Shaffer singled to right field to plate Alayna and advance Kenzie to third base. Grace moves to second base on the throw. With Makayla McAllister at the plate, Kenzie scores on a wild pitch. Makayla walked . Tommie Thompson popped out to the second baseman and Grace Shaffer was thrown out at home after tagging up. Makayla advanced to second on the throw. Brooke Waffen grounded out to the third baseman to end the Black Tigers’ at bat.
Both squads scored one run in the fourth inning. The Black Tigers retired the first two batters to come to the plate. With two outs, Emma Jones walked and scored on Grace Hengsteler’s double to 8-9 gap. Julee Phillips struck out Julianna Smith for the third out.
Tommie Thompson walked with one out and scored on Kylee Phillips’ hard hit grounder to second that was mishandled by the second baseman.
CVCA scored three runs in the fifth inning to tie the game as the Black Tiger defense struggled to get a handle on the ball. Sarah Holmes reached base on an error. Lexi Clements flied out to Tommie Thompson and Madi Jurish popped up to Grace Shaffer for the first two outs of their at-bat. With two outs and a runner at first, Amelia Timko and Becca Stahl walked to load the bases. Holmes scored on a passed ball to cut into the lead. Jackie Budrevich reached on error while both Timko and Stahl scored to tie the game. With Budrevich at second, Emma Jones is hit by the pitch. Grace Hengsteler walked to load the bases. Julianna Smith popped out to Makayla McAllister to end their rally.
Going into the bottom of the fifth with the score tied, the Black Tiger offense answered the call and put three runs on the board to take a 7-4 lead. Megan Cowher lead off with a walk and was replaced with Alayna Metheny who was caught stealing. Kenzie Kramer singled on a line drive to the second baseman. Grace Shaffer grounded out while advancing Kenzie to second base. With two outs, the Black Tigers rallied as Makayla McAllister walked and Tommie Thompson singled to score Kenzie and move Makayla to third. Tommie stole second and both Makayla and she score on Brooke Waffen’s single to left field. Brooke was caught stealing third to stymie the rally.
CVCA scored three runs in the top half of the inning to tie the score. Sarah Holmes walked to lead off the inning and Lexi Clements popped out to Julee Phillips at first base for the first out. Madi Jurisch walked to put runners on first and second with one out. Amelia Timko singled on a line drive off of pitcher Katie Carrell to load the bases. Becca Stahl reached first on a fielder’s choice as third baseman Grace Shaffer threw home to get Holmes for the second out. Jackie Budrevich hit a grounder that hit first base and took a sideways hop into right field to score both Jurisch and Timko to cut the lead to 7-6. Stahl scored on an error when Emma Jones put the ball in play to tie the game at 7 -7. Grace Hengsteler walked to load the bases. Julianna Smith grounded out second to put a stop to their comeback.
Going into the bottom of the sixth inning with the score tied 7-7, the Black Tigers offense battled with two outs to take the lead for good. Both Kylee Phillips and Katie Carrel grounded out to the shortstop. Julee Phillips singled up the middle and Avery Burns entered the game to run for Julee and advanced to second with a stolen base. Avery advanced to third on a wild pitch. With an 0-2 count, Kenzie Kramer sent a shot to centerfield that cleared the fence for a 3-run homerun to give the Black Tigers a 10-7 advantage. Grace Shaffer grounded out to send the team out on defense to preserve the lead.
Sarah Holmes grounded out to Katie Carrell at first base, Lexi Clements struck out looking, and Madi Jurisch flied out to Brooke Waffen in left field to end the game.
Congratulations to the team for their 11- 4 victory over the Woodridge Bulldogs and 10-7 victory over the CVCA Royals to be crowned the champions of the 2021 Battle of the Falls tournament.