McFarland's big inning ends Delavan-Darien's season
BELOIT--One troublesome inning kept Delavan-Darien from advancing further than it ever has before.
An error and two other questionable fielding decisions allowed McFarland to plate five runs in Thursday’s Division 2 sectional semifinal softball game at Beloit Turner.
The Comets rallied to within one run and had the bases loaded down two in the seventh, but they lost 6-4.
Delavan-Darien finished 22-8 overall but fell to McFarland in the sectional semis for the second straight year. The Comets have never advanced to the sectional finals.
“We knew it was going to be a close game, and we knew the first team to make a mistake would probably be behind,” Delavan-Darien coach Hank Johnson said. “It just happened to be us.”
The Comets struck first with two runs in the bottom of the first inning, a lead that held into the third.
There, McFarland sent eight hitters to the plate. Right fielder Kendra Forsmo led off with a single, Jenna Quelle walked and catcher Maddie Hettinger sacrificed them over to second and third base with a bunt.
After sophomore Lexy Kemnitzer walked to load the bases, Delavan-Darien pitcher Jennah Speth induced a fly ball to left field for the second out. Comets’ Shelby Gramly made the catch and threw what looked to be a strike to the plate that would have been ahead of Forsmo, but the relay was cut off before it arrived home.
“We had seen Speth last year and knew we could hit her, but she’s a very good pitcher, so we knew we were in for a battle,” McFarland coach Davy Halvorson said. “We knew we’d have to manufacture some runs … and they threw the ball around a little bit, which helped us.”
Junior second baseman Danielle Halverson made the Comets pay by following up with a two-run bloop single to center field.
Halvorson stole second and then scored when Stevie Winer hit a single to right field and no throw attempt was made to cut down Halvorson at the plate. Winer stole two bases and scored on an error.
“We are young, but we’ve played enough games that we knew what to do,” Johnson said. “We just let it get away from us a little bit.”
The Comets responded by getting two runs back in their half of the third. Freshman center fielder Morgyn DeLara led off with a triple and scored on Speth’s single. Speth scored on catcher Katelyn Gonzalez’s single.
The Comets never scored again despite piling up 12 hits. They stranded two runners in each of the fifth and sixth innings and had the bases loaded when the game ended on a hard-hit grounder.
“We had plenty of chances, we just couldn’t put runs across,” Johnson said. “They could’ve quit after that one bad inning, and they didn’t.”
“They’ve got a real young team, so they’ll be back,” Davy Halverson said. “Beloit Turner has a lot coming back, too. It can go any which way this time of year, so we’re just happy to be on the right end of it.”
McFarland plays Marshall on Thursday with a trip to state on the line.
McFARLAND 6, DELAVAN-DARIEN 4
McFarland 005 001 0—6 6 2
Delavan-Darien 202 000 0—4 12 3
Easland, Quinn (3), Kemnitzer (4) and Hettinger; Speth and Gonzalez.
Leading hitters—Winer (M) 2x3; Speth (DD) 3x4; Boss (DD) 2x4; Gonzalez (DD) 2x4. 2B—Speth (DD). 3B—DeLara (DD).
SO—Easland 1, Kemnitzer 4, Speth 6. BB—Kemnitzer 3, Speth 3.
• Poynette 6, Brodhead 0—The Cardinals notched just three hits and didn’t send a runner past first base in a Division 3 sectional semifinal at Darlington.
Erin Kloepping went 2-for-3 at the plate.
Brodhead finished 11-11 overall.
Poynette moves on to face Arcadia.
POYNETTE 6, BRODHEAD 0
Brodhead 000 000 0—0 3 2
Poynette 001 113 x—6 10 1
Brodhead pitcher—Boegli, 7 SO, 4 BB.
Leading Brodhead hitter—Kleopping, 2x3.