(May 3, 2019) It was an exciting, but exhausting week for the Stephen Decatur softball team, as the Lady Seahawks won three back-to-back games all in the seventh inning.
“Three days in a row and one run determined in the last inning is incredible. I’ve never seen anything like this,” Decatur Coach Scott Kurtz said. “They were able to pull things together in the end. It’s such a talented group of girls. They have the ability to get it done.”
Decatur hosted the Kent Island Buccaneers on Monday.
The Lady Seahawks went up 1-0 in the first, but the Buccaneers answered in the top of the second.
Decatur scored two in the fourth, which Kent Island matched in the fifth. The Seahawks tacked on two runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull ahead 5-3.
The Buccaneers put five runs on the board in the top of the seventh to take an 8-5 lead.
The Seahawks battled back to an 8-8 tie, then senior captain Lexi Black singled to score a run.
“To see them rise to the occasion, it was a proud moment,” Kurtz said. “They were calm and cool. They made a lot of really good decisions. They’ve been playing this sport for so long, they just go out there and do their job.”
Junior Amber Whittaker went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Senior captain Alex Richwalski, freshman Abby Wesche and Black had two hits each.
On the mound, Black threw four innings. She struck out six, walked two and allowed three hits. Wesche struck out two, walked two and gave up seven hits in three innings.
The next day, the James M. Bennett Clippers came to Berlin for competition.
Decatur scored one run in the third. Bennett went ahead 2-1 in the top of the sixth, but Decatur tied it up in the bottom of the inning.
Freshman Skylar Griffin grounded into fielder’s choice to the shortstop, and Wesche scored to give the Seahawks the win in the bottom of the seventh.
“It was another exciting one. The girls seem to find a way to pull it out,” Kurtz said. “Both teams were equally improved from the first match. I feel like we elevated our pitching and our defense held them. We were lucky to hit last and take advantage at the end.”
Junior Sierra Eisemann had two hits and an RBI. Whittaker and sophomores Brooklyn Pugner and Katie Wrench had one hit apiece.
Black struck out seven and allowed four hits in seven innings.
“Lexi threw a great game again,” Kurtz said. “She’s getting stronger as the season goes on. She’s looking really good on the mound.”
Decatur next headed to Mardela Springs on Wednesday to face the Mardela Warriors. There was much on the line for both teams, as the winner would represent the Bayside South in the conference championship game on Tuesday.
“They came out ready to roll and we jumped on them early,” Kurtz said.
The Seahawks again pulled it out in the seventh, winning 8-7, when Eisemann singled to score a run.
Decatur scored one run in the first and added four in the second. Mardela tallied one run in the bottom of the second.
The Seahawks went up 7-1 in the top of the fourth, until the Warriors scored two in the bottom of the inning. They drove in four in the fifth to tie the game, 7-7.
Decatur scored one in the top of the seventh and held on for the victory.
“They found a way to get it done in crunch time,” Kurtz said.
Eisemann had three hits and two RBIs. Black went 2-for-2 with two RBIs. Whittaker and Wrench both had two hits.
Black struck out five, walked three and allowed nine hits in seven innings.
Decatur’s final game of the regular season is today, Friday, against the Easton Warriors at 4 p.m. in Berlin. The team’s seniors will be recognized.
The Bayside championship game will take place on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Parker Athletic Complex in Salisbury. Decatur will battle the Colonel Richardson Colonels. The last time Decatur won a title was in 2000.