On an evening where the team’s defense wasn’t clicking, the Highland softball team rode its offense to a 21-13 win over visiting Galion.
Highland committed 14 errors in the game, leading to 11 unearned runs. However, they were able to record 17 hits and also took advantage of nine Tiger miscues to battle back from a 10-6 deficit and win by eight.
“Way to keep my blood pressure high,” said Scot coach Abby Steele. “That was a wild one. I’m really proud of our bats. We had four home runs on the day — three from our pitcher and one from our catcher. The biggest thing will be to regroup and play Highland softball.”
Galion struck first, getting a Ce Ce Campbell home run in the top of the first to grab the early lead. However, Highland would strike in the second inning to take the advantage. Brooklyn Croy led off by drawing a walk from Galion’s Kaitlyn McKee and Abby Jordan followed by reaching base on a Galion error. Stevie Asher then blasted a pitch over the fence to give the Scots a 3-1 lead.
After Abi Burke and Guinevere Jackson drew back-to-back walks, a single by Faith Geiger and a pair of Tiger errors on a steal attempt led to three more runs crossing the plate.
That 6-1 lead would not hold up for long, though. After an Emily McDonald single led off the third inning, the Scots got a pair of outs to nearly get out of the inning. It would take a long time for the third out to be recorded, though. A combination of errors and timely Galion hits led to a nine-run inning that put the visitors back in front.
Kylee McKee brought in two on a misplayed foul ball and both Lydia McCabe and Sarah Peoples added one run to the Galion total when their fly balls also were misplayed.
Trailing 6-5, a Scot error after an Emily McDonald single led to two runs and another error on a Mady Tinch grounder brought two more across the plate to make it 9-6. A single by Campbell brought yet another run across the plate.
“We needed to regroup after that inning,” said Steele. “They hit the ball really well and we misplayed some fly balls.”
Asher immediately cut into that deficit with a home run to lead off the bottom of the inning. Burke drew another walk and Jackson recorded a single. Geiger then hit a grounder that led to a pair of Tiger errors and a pair of Scot runs to make it a 10-9 game.
In the fourth inning, after Abby Jordan smacked a double, Asher struck again with her third home run to give Highland the lead again at 11-10. However, Galion would regain the advantage in the top of the fifth when a Campbell grounder brought in McDonald, who had doubled to lead off the inning, and Tinch would then score on a passed ball.
Highland would go for the knockout in the bottom of the inning, though, sending 15 batters to the plate and scoring 10 runs to take a commanding 21-12 lead.
After Geiger opened with a double, Adyson Landefeld tied the game with a single. She would then give the Scots the lead for good when Emma West drove her in with a single. With two on, Croy recorded the team’s fourth home run of the game, making it 16-12.
Jackson would drive in one with a single, Landefeld added a two-run single and Aubrey Robinson then hit a triple and stole home to give the Scots a nine-run lead.
While Galion added one more run in the seventh when a Campbell fly led to three Scot errors on the same play, Highland was able to finish off the game and record a 10th consecutive win to tie the school record set by the 2018 team.
“I’m proud of them for coming back,” said Steele. “That’s a testament to all 11 of them. They’re clicking as a team. They’re all coming together and know their role. If one has a bad day, they can count on the other 10 to pick them up.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS