The Decatur Daily Democrat
PREP SPORTS BRIEFS
Adams Central vs Heritage Softball-Wednesday
The showdown between two of the top teams in the ACAC lived up to the hype, with both Adams Central and Heritage scoring a run in the seventh, but it was the team that batted last, the Heritage Patriots, who came away with the 5-4 victory and at least a share of the conference title.
Trailing 4-3 and just three outs from defeat, Jenna Cook tied the game with a double to left to score Jozie Zimmerman. The Jets were unable to take the lead, though, as Danica Fuller got the strikeout she needed to strand Cook and take the game to the bottom of the seventh.
Adams Central starter Maddie Hill got the first out of the inning but Abriyah James tripled to right and coach Cary Blake was forced to make the tough call and intentionally walk the bases loaded.
Claire Bickel ended the game on the very next pitch, scoring James for the victory.
The Jets got off on the right foot with two firstinning runs. Athena Schwartz led off the game with a home run to center and Maddie Hill scored on an RBI groundout after being knocked into scoring position with another hit by Melina Peralez, one of two on the night.
After two perfect innings by both Hill and Fuller, Heritage tied the game with a hit by Bickel. Grace Guenthner then gave the Patriots the lead with a home run for a 4-2 lead. The Jets manufactured a run in the fifth to set up the exciting seventh inning.
Hill finished her evening with two singles. She allowed seven hits and five runs and struck out eight.
Danica Fuller also pitched the entire game and allowed eight hits and four runs, with one being unearned, while striking out four for the win.
Bickel and James each had two hits for Heritage.
Bellmont vs. DeKalb Softball-Wednesday
The Bellmont Braves needed nine innings, but they won their third game in three days with a comeback win at DeKalb in NE8 play, 6-3.
Sami Christen started the ninth-inning rally
with a one-out walk by Amara Anglin, who had entered the game in the fifth inning and pitched the rest of the way.
Emily Bleke followed with a single to left on a full count and that allowed Emma Mills the opportunity to lay down a bunt, which she executed, and she moved both runners into scoring position.
That execution set up Rachel Bleke and her team-high slugging percentage of .688 for the perfect RBI opportunity. The junior made it 5-3 with a double to left and then scored on a line drive off the bat of Piper Baker for an extra insurance run.
With the confidence of that extra run, Baker took the circle for her ninth inning of work and allowed just one walk in an otherwise uneventful inning to seal the victory.
Baker allowed just seven hits in those nine innings for the victory and struck out nine. Two of the three DeKalb runs were earned.
Bellmont scored twice off Barons starter Laci Munger. Both were scored by Emily Bleke, with the first on a sacrifice fly by her sister, Rachel, and the other on a delayed double steal, with Emma Mills taking the out at second on the caught stealing while Bleke scampered home.
Emily and Rachel Bleke, along with Baker, each had two hits for the team’s total of six on the night.
Bellmont Golf vs Leo
The Bellmont golfing Braves traveled north to take on Leo and were accompanied by Columbia City, as the Eagles took part in a three-way meet that wasn’t exactly three ways, but in the end it was Leo with a narrow victory on a great night of NE8 golf, with each team using a fourth score of 42.
Leo and Bellmont were scheduled to play each other, but the Lions had to invite Columbia City due to rain last week. Technically, the Braves did not compete against Columbia City, but they did in spirit nonetheless.
Justin Hicks of Leo birdied the par-five fifth for a (-1) 35 and medalist honors, while Bellmont’s Winston Brown was right behind him with an even 36. Brown recovered from a bogey on the first hole with a birdie on hole seven.
Ike Ruble made up the stroke by beating his Leo counterpart by a stroke with a 39, although he had to find a way back from a triple bogey on the first hole. He made up for two bogeys later in the round with birdies on the par-five fifth and ninth holes.
Owen Minnick and Jayden Haines rounded out the scoring for Bellmont, with Haines finishing with a 42 in his varsity debut. Haines, like Ruble, birdied the ninth to finish his round.
The Braves will compete against Leo again Saturday at their invitational.