Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 21, 2018

Vantiger’s heroics spark sweep

Mt. Pleasant softball sweeps Demons, gets back into SEC race
Jun 08, 2018
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Panther coach Troy Mears celebrates after Lyndi Vantiger’s walk-off winner against Washington in game one.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News

 

A stunning comeback in game one led to a Southeast Conference sweep for the Mt. Pleasant softball team on Thursday night.

The Panthers came back from a four-run deficit in the final inning to beat Washington 9-8 on a walk-off double by Lyndi Vantiger. Mt. Pleasant parlayed that momentum into another victory in game two, taking it 10-5 and making the SEC race even tighter than it already was.

The Demons led all the way up until the final frame. Washington put up two runs in the first inning, getting an RBI single from Haylee Wilson and a bases-loaded walk from Alexa Mitchell. They made it 4-0 in the top of the second with RBIs from Kaitlyn and Megan Mitchell and it looked as though Washington was off and running.

The Panthers struck back with three-straight runs, plating two on a Chi Glaha triple in the bottom of the second, and one on a Savana Walls single in the third.

The Demons added some insurance in the middle innings. Washington scored two more runs in the fourth, one of which came on a Tori Brush RBI single.

An RBI infield-single by Glaha cut the Washington lead to 6-4, but the Demons got two in the top of the seventh with RBI singles from M. Mitchell and Wilson.

The Panthers batted all the way through the lineup in the bottom of the seventh, despite making two outs in the first four batters. Keelyn McNamee, Abby Blint and Glaha all reached with the bases loaded, shedding the Demon lead to one run at 8-7. And then, it was all up to Vantiger.

Washington’s Molly Sparks was dealing in the circle all day, but started to run out of steam in the seventh. Cara Linnenkamp came in to relieve Sparks with Vantiger up to bat.

Linnenkamp threw the first one by Vantiger to open the at-bat with a strike, but Vantiger laced the 0-1 pitch into right-center field, bringing home two runs and stealing the win for Mt. Pleasant.

“She has really really come to life,” Mt. Pleasant head coach Troy Mears said about Vantiger. “She’s great back there (at catcher), hardly anything gets by her. She’s a spark plug now at the top of that order. She’s almost as tough an out as Chi Glaha is right now, and boy when you have that one-two punch, it’s great for the three-four-five hitters to get some RBIs.”

Glaha got the win in game one for Mt. Pleasant. She came in to relieve starting pitcher Anni Liechty early on in the contest.

Mt. Pleasant’s offense was solid in game two. The Panthers scored two runs in the first inning, one each in the second and third, four in the fourth and one each in the fifth and sixth. Vantiger and Trinity Krabill had three RBIs each and Liechty finished with two.

Washington scored two runs in the first inning, getting RBIs from M. Mitchell and A. Mitchell. They scored three more in the third inning, which at the time tied the game at 5-5, but Mt. Pleasant scored the last five runs of the ballgame.

McNamee picked up the win in game two for Mt. Pleasant. K. Mitchell was tagged with the loss for Washington.

Demon head coach Ben Olberman said he was happy with his bats, but that Washington didn’t make the plays in the field when they needed them.

“It just came down to us beating ourselves,” he said. “Offensively, you can’t ask for much more than what our kids have been doing, all year and tonight. Our kids aren’t trying to make mistakes. They’re playing hard. They’re competing, and unfortunately we made some mistakes in the seventh inning.”

Both teams now sit at .500 in SEC play. The Panthers are 3-3 and the Demons are 4-4.

 

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