Indians rally past Chargers

NEW ULM — Sleepy Eye defeated Minnesota Valley Lutheran 15-9 on Tuesday in a Tomahawk Conference softball contest. It was the final regular season game for the Chargers.

“We know we could chip away, despite starting out slow,” Sleepy Eye assistant coach Sydney Geiger said. “We know what we can do. They have good bats, too.”

The big inning for Sleepy Eye came in the top of the fourth inning. The Indians erupted for seven runs. Sleepy Eye was down 7-4 at the time, and it put together timely hits to tie the contest, and then to take the lead that it would not give up. When the dust cleared, the Indians led 11-7.

MVL appeared to stage a comeback in its half of the inning. Ditch walked, moved to second on a sacrifice and went to third on a Stephanie Dalueg single. Ditch was hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases. The Chargers were unable to score which led to a shift in the momentum.

The Indians responded by scoring four more runs in the top of the fifth. Morgan Klein hit a lead-off double to center field. She scored later on an infield hit by Brynja Mielke making it 12-7 Sleepy Eye.

Strong reached on an error and she scored later on a Martina Nienhaus single. Nienhaus and Tasha Martinez scored later on a hit by Sandy Flores for a 15-7 Sleepy Eye lead.

In the fifth inning, Lexi Fischer walked and she scored on a triple by Ditch. Grace Peterson’s single brought Ditch in from third for MVL’s final run.

MVL scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning for a 6-1 advantage. Samantha Dalueg walked, and she went to second on a wild pitch. Cheyenne Blackwell singled, stole second. Payton Richtsmeier’s double scored Dalueg and Blackwell and later Bauer walked. Fischer belted a triple to the right field fence that scored Richtsmeier and Bauer. Ditch’s single scored Fischer making it 6-1 MVL after two innings.

Sleepy Eye engineered a rally of its own in the top of the third. The Indians pulled themselves within two by scoring three runs.

Emma Fischer drew a walk in the top of the first inning. She moved to second and to third base on an MVL miscue. McKenna Strong’s sacrifice ground out scored Fischer for a 1-0 Sleepy Eye lead.

In the bottom of the inning, Haley Ditch cracked a home run over the center field fence to tie the game at 1-1.

“We started out strong, (sometimes) we lack some confidence,” MVL head coach Barb Leopold said. We question ourselves when we know that we need to just play the game,”

Sleepy Eye (11-6) will travel to Truman to face Martin Luther/Granada Huntley/East Chain/Truman on Thursday. MVL will await for the section seedings, which are scheduled to be released on Friday.