With the way Hiland has gotten things going on the softball field in the second half of the season, they fully expected to sneak past Inter-Valley Conference foe Newcomerstown in a tight battle Tuesday, May 5 in Newcomerstown.
It just didn’t quite pan out the way they had hoped.
After rallying twice to tie the score, Hiland would give up a run in the bottom of the sixth, and be unable to respond a third time in what eventually became a 6-5 loss to the Trojans.
Newcomerstown has absolutely manhandled the Lady Hawks in their earlier game this season, carving Hiland up to the tune of a 10-4 set back.
That would not be the case in this one, as Hiland showed great resiliency in coming back not once but twice.
After a scoreless first inning, the Trojans nicked Hiland starter Allison Aleshire for a pair of unearned runs in the second, courtesy of a pair of Hiland miscues.
The Lady Hawks responded to adversity by scoring three times to take the lead in the third.
After Kelsey Mast flew out, Brittany Wengerd walked as did Aleshire. Megan Kandel, who has spring to life at the plate over the past half dozen games, laced a double to left to score one. Newcomerstown then kicked around Lindsey Yoder’s ground ball and allowed Hiland to take the lead.
In the fourth, Newcomerstown retook the lead 5-3, when Jayde Bricker came up with a big two-out single.
Again trailing by two, the Lady Hawks fired right back in the fifth. Mast slapped a single to center, advanced to second and third on wild pitches and Wengerd walked and stole second. After Aleshire struck out, the runners moved up on another wild pitch, and Kandel struck out looking, leaving the tying run at third with two outs. Lindsey Yoder came through, driving a single to center to tie the game.
Yoder then stole second, but Hayley Schrock’s ground ball was gobbled up by the second baseman, leaving the score tied at 5-5.
However, Newcomerstown would manufacture an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Makenzie Moner singled to plate the go-ahead run.
Both teams would go quietly in the sixth, with Hiland looking to regain the lead one more time.
It didn’t happen, although it appeared it well might.
Wengerd hammered a double to lead the inning off. She advanced to third on Aleshire’s groundout to short, meaning Hiland had two shots at bringing in the tying run. However, Kandel’s fly to center was not deep enough for Wengerd to tag, and Yoder uncorked a line shot, but unfortunately for the Lady Hawks it was right at Moner at second base.
Hiland made the most of five hits in the game, with Yoder driving in a pair and Wengerd reaching base in all four of her plate appearances with three walks and a double. Wengerd also stole three bases on the night.
On the mound, Aleshire went three innings, giving up just one hit, striking out three, walking five and allowing five runs, of which two were earned. Wengerd also went three innings, giving up just the one unearned run, allowing three hits while striking out one and walking none.