Sleepy Eye bats lead the way over Tigers

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello Sleepy Eye pitcher Kathryn Schroepfer winds up to deliver a pitch during the second game of a doubleheader against Springfield Thursday in Sleepy Eye.

SLEEPY EYE — Sleepy Eye was able put up four runs in its bottom half of the fourth inning to end the game at a 15-run rule against Springfield in Game 1 of a Tomahawk Conference doubleheader Thursday.

The Indians (10-4) defeated the Tigers (7-11) 18-3, ending the game in the fourth with one out still to play in the inning.

Sleepy Eye’s Kathryn Schroepfer pitched four innings with four strikeouts and one walk for the win.

Kathryn Schroepfer took the win in the second game, as the Indians defeated the Tigers 19-7 during the five-inning game.

The Indians struck first with six runs in the first inning of Game 1, highlighted by a grand slam off the bat of Mariah Miller. Miller drove the 0-1 count to deep left for the bomb and was the sixth run of the inning with no outs in the book.

Springfield pitcher Brittany Rogotzke was able to calm down with no outs still in the first, getting groundball outs with two fielder’s choices and a flyout.

“Our pitchers are working hard, we just need to regain our focus,” Tigers coach Katie Wilhelmi said. “Some things are really starting to come around for us.”

The Tigers struggled to get runners aboard in the first two innings, with the only player to reach being Mya Mickelson taking a pitch that got away from Kathryn Schroepfer for a hit by pitch.

Sleepy Eye added four runs in the second inning from four hits. Mckenna Strong led the Indians in the inning with a two-RBI single after a strong battle at the plate. She fouled off five straight pitches after a 2-2 count, finally driving the ball to the grass.

Springfield put up a run in the top half of the third, being led off by a single from Chelsey Havemeier, who then swiped second base to get into scoring position. Brianna Schmidt beat out a throw at first base to advance Havemeier to third with the Tigers having runners at the corners.

Sarah Dunn hit into the 4-3 out, bringing in the runner from third to get the Tigers on the scoreboard.

The Indians’ hitting stayed hot in the third inning, scoring three runs from four hits. Brynja Mielke, Alexa Steffl and Miller all added RBIs as the Indians now led 13-1.

“Once one of our girls breaks it open for us, we roll with it, which become huge for us,” Sleepy Eye coach Sydney Geiger said. “It just takes the one girl to step up and we take off.”

Springfield struck back in the fourth inning, scoring two runs with Havemeier driving the ball to the left-center fence for a two-RBI double. Rogotzke and Sydney Schauman scored on the play. Both Tiger runners advanced into scoring position on a well-placed sacrifice bunt by Samantha Richert. The Tigers were able to keep the short field alive on a second perfectly placed bunt by Schmidt to keep pressure and the inning alive.

Sleepy Eye added five runs in the bottom half of the fourth, to end the first game by the 15-run rule. Strong led off the inning and reached on a hit-by-pitch and advanced to third from a slap-hit double into left field from Lauren Klein. Scoring the runs for the Indians were Strong, Klein, Meilke, Karlie Ries and Steffl with Miller grounding into the 6-3 out for the game-ending RBI.

In Game 1, the Tigers were led by Havemeier, going 2 for 2 with a double and two RBIs. Rogotzke took the loss from the circle, pitching three and 2/3 innings with one strikeout and five walks.

Sleepy Eye’s Reis and Steffl led the team, going 3 for 3, with each player scoring four runs and reaching on a walk. Miller was 1 for 3 with six RBIs.

In Game 2, Springfield’s Schmidt went 2 for 3 with two stolen bases, Schauman went 2 for 2, scoring three runs and a walk and Havemeier was 2 for 2 with two RBIs.

The Tomahawk teams now wait for the conference rankings this Saturday as playoffs begin.

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