CRESTLINE – The Crestline Lady Dogs softball team came out of the dugout on fire and provided some much needed heat on a cool windy day.
Crestline doubled up the Buckeye Central Buckettes 14-7 to earn the Northern 10 conference win.
The Lady Dogs did most of their damage by scoring 10 of their 14 runs in the second, third and fourth innings. Senior Kayla Gregory had an outstanding game by going 3-4 with a pair of triples, a single, three RBIs and three runs scored.
The Buckettes came out of the gates very slow, and head coach Roger Durnwald recognized it from the first pitch.
“We did not start out very focused. Our pitcher did not hit her spots and the defense played sluggish. It is hard to play in these windy game,” he said. “The team that won only had to get the ball in the air and let that wind play with it, and Crestline did just that. Hats off to them. They played well.”
Trailing 10-4 heading into the top half of the sixth, the Buckettes were on their way to making a comeback. Senior Sierra Hanes stepped to the plate and hit a ball to the left center field gap.
Crestline freshman center fielder Madison Huber and senior left fielder Sam Tesso collided as the ball hit the ground. Tesso and Huber knocked heads in a scary moment, and neither would get up for a few minutes.
Tesso walked off with a bloody nose and lip, but Huber would remain down and had to be carried off in an ambulance. Without any sort of update, head coach Jackie Finders recalled the moments in the outfield by her players’ sides.
“Madison said she had no feeling in her right arm, so it seems like it’s a neck injury. Sam had a bloody nose, but both of them did not pass a concussion test, so we sent them both in the squad. They will be out for a while,” Finders said.
The Lady Dogs still had an inning and a half to play and responded well. They were able to get out of the inning only giving up three runs and went on to score four of their own in the home half of the sixth. Finders was happy with the poise and concentration her players showed.
“I was amazed at how they responded. Madison is my second baseman’s (senior Mara Huber) sister, so it was traumatic for everyone. But the girls concentrated and responded, and we got the win. Now we are going to go see our teammate,” Finders said.
Durnwald also saw a shift in the game at that moment. After scoring three runs up to the moment, a long break broke the Buckettes concentration, and they never recovered.
“I don’t know if it was the long break that hurt us or just the moment itself. We seemed to turn into a team that felt bad for them for losing two players in the manner in which they did, and they turned into a team that wanted to win it for their teammate,” Durnwald said.
Hanes had a great day at the plate. In the fifth inning, she smashed a home run over the right field fence and followed that up with an inside-the-park home run in the sixth. In all, Hanes collected four RBIs and scored two runs for the Buckettes.
Freshman Katie Keppler added three hits, all singles, and scored a run while senior Maddie Fagan added two singles and a run batted in.
Along with Gregory’s performance, junior Ellen Dailey smashed out three hits for the Lady Dogs. She collected a pair of singles and a double with a run batted in and scored three runs. Freshman Lydia Tadda also added two hits, both singles. Huber contributed with a triple and three RBIs before leaving the game.
Junior Caylee Jackson earned the win on the mound allowing four runs on four hits. She also struck out three and walked two.
The Lady Dogs improve to 4-7 and 2-6 in N10 play. They will host Wynford on Wednesday.
The Buckettes drop to 6-8 and 3-6 in the N10. They will travel to Carey to take on the conference leader on Wednesday.