Saline built and early 3-0 lead and led 4-2 as late as the fifth inning, but the Hornets couldn’t hold off Ypsilanti-Lincoln in the MHSAA Division 1 District Final Saturday at Saline. Lincoln went on to win 8-4.
The Railsplitters scored six runs in the final three innings.
The Hornets, who hit the heck out of the ball in the 10-0 victory over Pioneer earlier in the day, looked like they wanted to continue the fun against Lincoln. After starter Alaina Walker shut out Lincoln in the first inning, the Hornets scored three runs in the bottom of the first. With one out Maddie Shelton singled. Kelsey Alexander followed with a double. Brooke Bauer reached first on an error by the shortstop, which allowed Shelton to score. Lindsay Rittenhouse singled to center to score Alexander and Bauer.
Walker retired the Railsplitters in the second, allowing only a leadoff walk. The Hornets went down 1-2-3. In the third, the Railsplitters got to Saline’s young pitcher with a single, triple, double and a walk. Coach Alicia Seegert brought in Alex Pace, who pitched five shutout innings against Pioneer only an hour earlier, from left field. Pace retired the next two batters and stranded runners on first and second. Saline led 3-2. Saline got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning. Bauer reached base on an error by the rightfielder. Emma Schwartzenberger bunted her to second. Bauer went to third when Rittenhouse grounded out. Dani Cobello singled to center to score Bauer. Saline led 4-2.
Pace set the Railsplitters down in the fourth, allowing a two-out walk. The Hornets wasted a golden opportunity in the bottom of the inning after Pace and Ashley Heren led off with singles. Things went sour in the fifth. Pace walked the lead-off hitter. The next two batters singled and doubled, making it 4-3. Pace struck out the next batter and then allowed a walk. Lincoln tied the game on a sacrifice fly and then took the lead with a single. Pace struck out the next batter to escape further damage. In the bottom of the inning, Schwartzeberger led off with a single but Saline couldn’t move her beyond second.
In the sixth inning, Seegert replaced Pace with Cobello after a couple of walks. After a wild pitch moved the runners to second a third, Lincoln scored on a fielder’s choice to short. Lincoln added another run on a ground out to make it 7-4. Cobello struck out the next batter to end the inning. Saline attempted to rally with two out in the sixth. Shelton singled to left and Alexander walked, but the Hornets couldn’t build on it. Lincoln added a run in the seventh. The Hornets went down 1-2-3 in their half of the inning.
Saline stroked 12 hits in a 10-0, mercy-rule victory over Pioneer. Pace scattered five hits and two walks, allowing no runs in five innings. She struck out one. All but one Hornet had a hit in the contest. The heart of the lineup – Alexander, Bauer and Schwartzenberger – went 7-for-9 with six RBI and four runs scored. Schwartzenberg was 3-for-3 with two RBi. Alexander was 2-for-3 with two RBI. And Bauer was 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Saline put up four runs in the first inning. Heren led with a single and Shelton walked Alexander followed with an RBI single. Bauer’s line to leftfield was dropped, allowing another run to score. Emma Schwartzenberger doubled to center to make it -0. Isabella Darmos singled to score Schwartzenberger. Saline added three runs in the second. Cobello doubled off the wall in left. With two out, Alexander doubled to center. Bauer singled home Alexander. After Bauer stole second, she scored on Schwartzenberger’s single to right field.
The score remained 7-0 until the bottom of the fifth when the Hornets took advantage of Pioneer fielding mistakes. Darmos reached on an error. Rittenhouse took her place on first after a fielder’s choice. Cobello walked. Heren reached on an error, which scored Rittenhouse. After Heren stole second, Shelton drilled a single to left, scoring both baserunners. The game was called due to the mercy rule.