Elkhart Falls to Frankston, 9-8
By Will Johnson
FRANKSTON – The Elkhart Lady Elks travelled to Frankston on Tuesday of this week for a game against the Frankston Maidens.
The District 18-3A contest would go a long way in determining playoff seeding as the postseason draws near and during the early part of the game, it looked as if Elkhart might run away with the win. The Maidens, however, did not quit as they tied the game in the bottom of the sixth and then pulled out a 9-8 comeback win in their final at-bat.
Jordan Moss was in the pitcher’s circle for the Maidens and aside from a one-out double from Elkhart’s Gracie Johnson, Moss kept Elkhart in check during the first inning.
Johnson was in the circle for Elkhart and found herself in trouble early on. She gave up a lead-off double to Moss, got Alyssa Elton to fly out to center and then walked Trinity Boggs. Karley Erickson was up next and she slapped a single through the left side of the infield to load the bases.
With one out and the bases juiced, Sydnie Ellis hit one up the middle to score Moss from third. On the play, Boggs was gunned down at third but the Maidens had jumped out to an early 1-0 lead.
After she gave up the run, Johnson settled down and caught Bailey Fleming looking at a called third strike to end the inning.
When the Lady Elks came to bat in the second, the Elkhart offense exploded for six runs. Allie Hays led off the inning and drew a walk. Following an illegal pitch to Ashlyn Mattern, Makayla Walker sacrificed the runners to second and third and reached first on an error.
Rylee Reeves followed Walker in the order and grounded out to second, but advanced the runners. On the play, a Frankston error allowed Hays to scamper home with the tying run and moved Mattern to third and Walker to second.
A two-out double from Aranna Gonzales drove in the baserunners to make the score 3-1. Holly Crouch knocked in Gonzales with a single up the middle and came around to score when Macie Gonzales slapped a shot into center.
Molly Ormand was up next and doubled in Gonzales to make the score 6-1, Elkhart.
After Hays struck out to close the top half of the second, Johnson gave up two singles to the Maidens but held them in check to send the game into the third inning.
The Lady Elks continued their onslaught in the third as Mattern walked and then scored on a Gonzales single. Gonzales also scored on a Crouch double to the gap to make the score 8-1 after two and a half.
Frankston began to chip away at the lead when they came to bat in the third. Boggs led off the bottom half of the inning with a single and moved to third when Erickson doubled. Boggs crossed the plate when Ellis singled into right and Erickson scampered home on Bailey Fleming’s double.
The Maidens would add another run before Johnson was able to record the third out but by the then the damage was done as Frankston had whittled the Elkhart lead down to 8-4.
Elton, who had come in to pitch in the previous inning, worked her way into and out of trouble when the Lady Elks came to bat in the fourth inning and kept the score at 8-4. Johnson, who appeared a little shaky in the previous inning, steadied herself and also made it through the fourth unscathed.
In the top of the fifth inning Rylee Reeves led off with a single but was stranded on the base paths as Elton mowed down the next three hitters she faced.
Johnson gave up a single to Ellis to open the bottom of the fifth inning, but then retired the next two batters she faced. Novali Davenport was up next and she doubled into right to plate Ellis and make the score 8-5.
Katie Roark followed Davenport in the order and tripled into left to score Davenport. Roark scored on a liner to center and just like that the seven run lead had vanished.
Elton kept the Lady Elks in check while her Maidens tied things up in the bottom of the sixth. After a single an error and a walk, Johnson was pulled for Reeves and shortly afterwards, Boggs stole home to tie the score at eight,
The Lady Elks threatened in the top of the seventh, but could not generate any run support. The Maidens, however, did.
After Roark struck out swinging, Moss reached first on a dropped third strike. Elton popped up for the second out but on the next play, Moss was able to motor around the bases after two Elkhart errors and crossed the dish to give Frankston the 9-8 win.
Will Johnson may be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.