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MMC girls surprise Akron-Westfield

Monday, July 6, 2009

Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn's Mariah Walton hustles to first base under the watchful eyes of coach Steve Blair during recent War Eagle Conference softball action in Cleghorn. The Eagles upset #3 Akron-Westfield 10-9 last week. Photo by Sarah Gengler
Eagles lead 10-1, win 10-9 after Westerners rally

CLEGHORN - The young Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn softball team continued to show vast improvement on both sides of the ball here Wednesday night, with an exciting 10-9 War Eagle Conference upset over #3 Akron-Westfield.

The Eagles, led by veteran former Cherokee coaches Steve Blair and Leo Hupke, rocked to a 10-1 lead over the 21-7 Westerners after scoring one run in the first inning, eight in the fourth, and another in the fifth, while A-W scored one in the third.

Erica Dreckman of Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn stands poised and ready for the pitch during recent softball action in Cleghorn. Photo by Sarah Gengler
However, the gritty Westerners regrouped and tallied three runs in the sixth inning, and five more in the seventh before the host Eagles put the fire out to escape with the one-run stunner.

"After five innings it is 10-1 and several of my players came off the field talking 10-run rule," said Blair of his youthful club. "I gave them the wisdom of my coaching experience but it fell on deaf ears... youth has to learn the hard way at times."

Stephanie Specht pitched 5 1/3 innings to get the win, allowing four runs on four hits. Kayla Foresman relieved her and pitched 1 2/3 innings to get the save, while allowing five runs on six hits. She struck out the final batter with the tying run on second base for the Westerners.

Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn pitcher Stephanie Specht delivers a pitch during recent softball action in Cleghorn. Photo by Sarah Gengler
"Our combined pitchers walked only one batter for the seven innings," said Blair. "An Erica Dreckman to Mariah Walton relay from the outfield cuttng down a runner at third base was a key to our success."

Jackie Holmes was 3-3 with two RBI to lead MMC at the plate, while Mariah Walton was 2-3 with two RBI.

Monica Harvey had three hits for A-W, and Jordan Harris had two hits.

MMC is now 11-12 over all and 7-9 in the WEC, while A-W is 21-7 and 14-2.

The Eagles host Granville Spalding in Cleghorn tonight to end regular season play, then hit the tourney trail beginning Wednesday.

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