Napoleon scored three runs in the sixth and a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Saline (7-2) in the championship game of the Hornets’ softball tournament Saturday.
Saline defeated Riverview, 4-3, and Walled Lake Western, 8-3, before falling 5-4 to Napoleon.
Saline led 4-1 after the top of the sixth. But Napoleon started the sixth with a double and a walk. A second double scored one run and then a single scored another.
On the single, it looked like CF Kelsey Alexander threw out a runner at third, but the umpire ruled that 3b Emma Schwartzenberger didn’t tag her. Coach Alicia Seegert disputed the call.
Pitcher Emily Baldus fielded a ground ball, looked the runner back and then threw out the hitter at first. The next batter grounded back to Baldus. Again she glanced at the runner at third. But when Baldus turned to throw to first, the runner ran home to tie the game. Baldus got the next batter to ground out at the plate.
“We didn’t like that call, but we also had a chance to get out of that inning without giving up the tying run. Sometimes we’ve got to make better decisions,” coach Seegert said.
The Hornets could only muster Brooke Bauer’s one-out single in the top of the seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh, Napoleon had three straight hits to score the game-winning run.
Saline took the lead in the top of the first when Bauer homered over the left-field fence. It was her fourth of the year.
Napoleon tied the game in the bottom of the second after a lead-off triple and a sacrifice fly.
In the third, Saline added two more runs in the top of the third. Ashley Heren and Kelsey Alexander started the inning with bunt singles. Saline went up 2-1 when Bauer reached on an error and Heren scored. Olivia Darmos drove in Alexander with a sacrifice fly to left.
The Hornets extended their lead in the sixth. Darmos led with a single. Pinch runner Emily Finkbeiner took third on Amanda Enners’ double. She scored on a single by Pace. The Hornets stranded runners at first and third with no outs.
Baldus pitched six innings, giving up five runs on nine hits and three walks. She struck out one. Bauer (2-for-4, 2 2 RBI) and Pace (2-for-3, 1 RBI) led the Hornet attack.
Despite the loss, Seegert likes the way her team played Saturday.
“We’re putting it together. I’m really happy with the girls. We’ve got to keep working and getting better,” Seegert said.
Saline opened the day with a 4-3 win over Riverview. Saline was down 3-1. In the top of the sixth the Hornets added a run. In the seventh, they scored two runs to win the game.
In the seventh, Baldus got the Hornets started with a one-out single. After another out, Alexander reached on an error by the rightfielder, scoring one run. Bauer singled to centerfield to score Alexander and win the game.
Alex Pace earned the win. She gave up nine hits and a walk while striking out five in seven innings. She gave up three runs, one of which was earned.
Pace was also 2-for-3 with an RBI. Bauer was 2-for-4 with a double, single, RBI and two runs scored. Enners had a double and an RBI.
Saline had its best game of the day against Walled Lake Western. The Hornets pounded 14 hits in an 8-3 win. Baldus earned the win, pitching seven innings, scattering six hits and a walk in seven innings. She gave up three runs, none of which were earned. She struck out five batters.
Heren led the Hornets with three hits. Alexander, Bauer, Enners, Schwartzenberger, and Haley Evans each had two hits. Bauer hit two doubles and drove in three runs.
Saline hosts a doubleheader against Huron Monday.