Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
KALONA — Playing four home games in three days, Hillcrest Academy’s softball team came the closest to its first win Thursday in an 11-10 nine-inning loss.
“We were knocking on the door and tried our best to punch a victory through with both teams going toe to toe,” Hillcrest coach Kent Blossom said. “It was a crazy night.”
Friday Central Lee put an 8-1 win on the board against Hillcrest.
Saturday, the Ravens hosted a tournament and played Columbus, which won 16-1 and Danville (5-10), which won 11-3. Danville lost 9-4 to English Valleys (9-7). Lela Fort had two hits for Columbus when it lost to English Valleys 9-3 and Libby White threw six innings with a walk, four strikeouts, four earned runs and 11 hits.
Jocelyn Fulton and Emma Milder each clobbered a home run in the Columbus win over Hillcrest, which counted as a Super Conference North Division game. The Wildcats are 6-5 in the North, 9-12 overall. Milder went 4-for-5, Michelle Diaz and Jobie Lekwa each went 3-for-5. Victoria Howell, Diaz, White and Lily Coil each hit a double. Coil struck out six with four hits and no walks in four innings to get the win. White threw two innings with two walks, two strikeouts, three hits and the run.
Madeline Fox had two hits for Hillcrest in the Columbus game. Yanita Gutierrez went 2-for-2 against Danville. Fox had a double and batted in two runs. Norah Yoder and Esther Hughes each had a hit. Leah Bontrager was the pitcher of record for both games.
Thursday, the Ravens, who are 0-12, nearly won against North foe Lone Tree (8-11 overall, 4-8 North). Bontrager threw all nine innings, allowing 11 runs on 20 hits and striking out six.
Lone Tree led 4-0 going into the bottom of the sixth. Fox doubles and scores on Maliah Yoder two-out hit and Yoder scores on an error. A Gutierrez hit and another error evens the score.
Evelyn Gerber triples to start the bottom of the seventh after Lone Tree takes a 6-4 lead in top of the inning. Hughes gets an RBI single and eventually scores on Grace Miller’s single.
Five Lone Tree runs in the top of the ninth, but Hughes singles to start the bottom of the ninth. Fox reaches on an error. Miller hits it to second baseman who tags Fox with the glove with the ball in her other hand.
The base umpire calls an out as second baseman throws to first and umpire signals safe.
“Our base runner heads toward the bench and our base coach (Calli Shaw) yells at her to get back to the base because she saw the non-tag and thought she was safe,” Blossom said. “The home plate umpire then calls verbal interference on our base coach.”
Meanwhile Hughes scores from third base. After a lengthy discussion, the base umpire doesn’t remember the call made at first base and decides it was an out.
"I said out loud that she did indeed call her safe at first,“ Blossom said. ”After some additional commotion, the plate umpire said ‘enough is enough.’“
The plate ump sends Hughes back to third base, the runner at second is out for interference and the runner at first is safe. The base coach didn’t quite understand why it was interference and motions for the base umpire wanting further explanation. The plate umpire sees that and told her to get off the field and ejected her.
Now there is no chance for an appeal to be made and an umpire likely would not rule anything different from what has already been an ordeal.
Lone Tree may have been more fazed than the Ravens as Hughes scores and Sarah Miller advances on an error. Yoder doubles in a run then scores on Grace Miller’s double and it is 11-9 with one out. Meredith Blossom doubles in a run and it’s 11-10 but the Ravens can’t tie it up.
"Wow, what a game,“ Blossom said. ”Wish we had won.“