O'Brien County's Bell-Times-Courier -

Lady Wolverines fire last salvo in win over Gehlen


South O'Brien rallied to knock off a good Gehlen Catholic Jays Softball Team 6-4 June 20 at Paullina. The victory raised the Wolverines' War Eagle Conference mark to 5-2.

"It was a very exciting game to be a part of, as neither team was really ever in command and each team came up with some big defensive plays to get out of jams," remarked South O'Brien head coach Heather Struve.

Gehlen struck first on the scoreboard with two runs in the top of the second inning on three hits and a sacrifice bunt. The Wolverines came up with three runs of their own in the bottom of the third to take a 3-2 lead. Hannah Dau and Sydney Struve had back-to-back singles and stole third and second base on a delayed steal. The Jays elected to walk Taryn Hintz to load up the bases with no outs. Gehlen got their first out of the inning on a strikeout and then Dau scored on a misplayed ball when Gabby Heeren hit a grounder and Struve came in to score as well. Liz Maurer hit a ground ball to third base to score Hintz for the third run of the inning.

The Lady Jays came right back in the top of the fourth to score two more times and put themselves in the lead 4-3 off of two hits, a sac bunt, a walk and a Wolverine error. It could have been much worse, as Gehlen left the bases loaded.

Down by one run, Struve started things off in the bottom of the fifth with a double.  Hintz had a single to put runners at first and third. Hintz stole second on the next pitch. Jordan Nieuwenhuis ripped a single to plate both runs. She was replaced by courtesy runner Emily Chicoine. Heeren bunted on the next at bat and Chicoine made it all the way to third on the play. Maurer then hit a single to score Chicoine and make the score 6-4 in favor of South O'Brien. Neither team scored in the sixth or seventh inning.

"The big story of the game was how many base runners each team left stranded," offered Coach Struve. "Gehlen left 10 on base and South O'Brien nearly matched that with leaving nine on base. Much of that was due to both teams having some tough pitching."  Bailey Tjossem started the game and went 5-1/3 innings. She allowed six hits and four runs, zero earned, while walking three. Struve came in for the last 1-2/3 innings to get the win and did not allow a hit or a run. She struck out four and walked two. "The Wolverines did not play their cleanest game of the year in the field by any means, as they committed five errors," observed their coach. "This was very uncharacteristic thus far this season."

Struve had a 3-for-4 performance at the plate with a double, two singles and two runs. Hintz was 2-for-2 and got walked twice. She scored two runs as well. Nieuwenhuis had a pair of singles and two RBI's. Dau and Maurer each singled with Dau scoring a run and Maurer driving in two.


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