Warriors softball team narrowly misses split with Herington
The second game of the Marion Warriors’ season-opening softball double-header Thursday against Herington came down to a single call at the end.
The Warriors trailed, 11-10, with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Montana Percell was on third base, and Balee Shiplet was at second base. Andrea Nordquist hit an infield ground ball and hustled up the first-base line.
With Percell and Shiplet sprinting toward home, the game was going to end either way the play at first was called. If Nordquist was safe, two runs would score and Marion would win. If she was out, Herington would win.
Nordquist and the ball reached first base almost simultaneously. When the umpire signaled out, the Marion fans in attendance were incredulous. The Warriors lost the game, 11-10.
The Warriors had earlier opportunities to win the game. They took a 9-8 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Shiplet beat a dropped third strike to first base and a runner scored from third. But Herington tied the game again in the top of the fifth inning.
Marion again earned a one-run lead when Chelsea Voth drove Megan Richmond home with a groundout. Neither team scored in the sixth inning, and Herington tied the score at 10 in the top of the seventh inning. The Railers then took an 11-10 lead in the top of the eighth inning.
“I always want the win, but we played well,” coach Jennifer Felvus said. “I think we had a great first outing.”
Marion fell behind 4-0 early in the first game against Herington, but then the defense tightened up, recording 11 consecutive outs from the end of the first inning through the middle of the fourth inning. Richmond got off the mound with only four pitches in the second inning.
“Eleven consecutive outs can turn into 13, 15,” Felvus said.
Percell scored on a passed ball in the second inning, but a pair of errors in the fifth inning expanded Herington’s lead to 6-1. Nordquist and Richmond each drove in a run in the fifth inning. Down 6-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Nordquist drove in Sam Davies with a one-out line drive to centerfield. Marion lost the game, 6-4.