Palm Bay, FL – A six-run first inning and four-run second inning launched the iCASE girls softball team to an 11-1 payback to the Brevard Aces, who edged the Huskies 4-3 in the first game of a twin bill at a rather chilly Fred Lee Park on Wednesday night.
Riley Strauss and Blythe Hilpert led off the game with identical back-to-back singles through the left side, and speedster Avery Hilpert beat out a grounder to short, loading the bases. Megan Jesse’s two-run liner up the middle opened the scoring for iCASE, followed by Avery Hilpert being forced at third on Sydney Pendelton’s fielder’s choice grounder to short. Rachel Sothern pounded a deep fly to the left field corner, doubling to score another pair of runs. Mia Valcke then lined a single to right, advancing Sothern to third, and swiped second on the next pitch. Katie Oberle then smacked a two-run single to mount a 6-0 lead.
In the second, Straus and Blythe Hilpert repeated their act, this time with a fly ball that found green in right centre, and a beautifully placed bunt. Avery Hilpert walked to load the bases, and Jesse drove home a run with a grounder to short. Pendelton then laced a single to left, scoring two, and Sothern had an RBI groundout to put the Huskies into double digits.
iCASE’s final run came in their last at bat, when Oberle drew a base on balls, and Skyler Stockie and Ella Busch each singled.
Stockie, who closed out the first game on the mound, pitched a scoreless first, and Busch took care of business the rest of the way, allowing just one run on three hits.
In the opener, the Aces got the better of iCASE starting pitcher Riley Strauss with four doubles in the second, putting them in front 3-2. iCASE later tied it up when Avery Hilpert walked and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jesse, then was driven home by Pendelton. Stockie gave up a run in relief of Riley, allowing just three safeties.
In the second stanza, Oberle singled but was outed at second on Stockie’s fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop. Busch reached by error, and Maddie Hickingbottom grounded to short to score Stockie, doubling the lead to 2-0.
On the night, Blythe Hilpert was a perfect 3-for-3, while Avery Hilpert, Jesse, Pendelton, Oberle, Stockie and Strauss chipped in with two hits apiece. Jesse scored three times, while Avery Hilpert, Blythe Hilpert, Jesse, and Strauss rounded the bases twice each. Sothern compiled four RBI, Jesse three, Pendelton and Oberle two, and Busch and Hickingbottom one each.
“I’m really pleased to seeing us rebound instead of fold our tent, as we have lost each of our three first games in our doubleheaders over the past three nights, and come back to win two and tie one of the nightcaps,” remarked head coach Don Oberle.
“For a team comprised of girls from four different club teams, we have bonded both tactically on the field as well as during our time at the hotel. And our offense has been quite well-balanced.”
After watching a Kennedy Space Center launch last night (actually, this morning) at 1:35am, iCASE girls will take the day off on today, and bring their 2-3-1 Spring Training record to its final doubleheader on Friday night against the top-ranked team they’ll play this week, Wagner’s Gold, at the Foundation Academy in Winter Garden, FL.
INJURY UPDATE > Catcher Claire Lavereau suffered a deep bone bruise on a foul tip Tuesday, has had an X-ray, and is listed as day-to-day until further notice.
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