Rebels denied by Wabasha-Kellogg
Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 29, 2003
As Wabasha-Kellogg pitcher Shelley Arens was getting on the bus after Tuesday's devastating 3-2 loss to Southland, her teammates apologized for making three errors behind her in the crucial sixth inning.
"I told them, 'It's OK, it just wasn't meant to be,'" Arens said, "'but tomorrow, we're gonna come out and we're gonna win.'"
Exactly three months after she had a benign lump removed from her chest, Arens was true to her word, blanking the upstart Rebels 1-0 Wednesday to earn a trip to the state championships in Mankato.
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"Early in the season we probably would've given up (in games like the last two)," said Southland head coach Karleen Retterath. "We weren't going to give up today though."
"Our first two games with Southland weren't very close, but these last two have truly been championship games," said W-K head coach Mike Schumacher. "They put up a real battle today."
Southland got their leadoff hitter on base in four of their seven at-bats, but W-K foiled them each time.
"We had opportunities, but we had to get some bunts down and we didn't," Retterath said.
The Rebels also left three runners in scoring position with only one out over the first two innings. Megan Schroeder started off the game with a single and was quickly sacrificed to second by Amanda Landherr. Arens got the last two outs to strand her there though.
Allison Chapek reached on an error to begin the second. Sara Walerak dumped a base hit in front of the left fielder one out later to put runners at second and third. But Arens recorded a critical strikeout and snagged a comebacker to end the threat.
Coming off three excellent innings of relief the day before, Rebel starter Michelle Landherr was cruising along until she hit a bit of a snag with two outs in the third. Liz Hall reached on an error and Amy Glomski followed with an infield hit, but Schroeder ended the inning with an unassisted putout at second base.
Southland threatened again in the fourth. Chapek singled with one out, but she was then thrown out trying to steal second. Bridget Felten followed with a base hit that might have done some damage were the bases not empty.
Amanda Landherr began the sixth with a base hit, but two consecutive fielder's choices kept the Rebels from advancing past first.
Wabasha-Kellogg would finally solve Landherr in the bottom of the sixth, evoking shades of Southland's three-run rally in the same spot Tuesday. The Rebel freshman battled leadoff hitter Hall in an epic at-bat to begin the inning. Finally, after fouling off numerous pitches, Hall was able to draw a walk. Glomski then laid down a perfect bunt that died right in front of the plate to put Hall at second. Ashley Marx followed with her second hit of the game on another bunt.
With no one out and the bases full, Landherr uncorked a wild pitch that plated pinch-runner Kayla Wiemann with the winning run. Southland completed a double play by throwing out Glomski at home to keep W-K from scoring again, but the damage was already done.
The Rebels had only three more chances left to try and prolong their season. Felten got them off to a good start with a solid base knock, her second of the game. Trying to get a bunt down, Sara Walerak hit it little pop-up that Glomski snared and then fired to first to double up Alyssa O'Connell, who was running for Felten. With the bases now empty, Arens fanned the final Rebel hitter to give W-K the Section 1A title.
"After my surgery, I was told I wouldn't play softball again (this year)," Arens said. She not only came back to practice a week and a half later, she also extended her streak of consecutive innings without allowing an earned run to 40 2/3 with Wednesday's effort. She finished with a six-hit shutout, walking none and striking out two.
Michelle Landherr battled her to the end though, allowing only four hits and recording two strikeouts over six strong innings of work.
"It was a real pitcher's duel today," Retterath said. "(Michelle) has matured so much over the course of the year."
Southland finished their season as the Section 1A runner-up in front of another enthusiastic crowd. The Rebels' record on the year was 13-14.
Southland 0Wabasha-Kellogg 1
Schroeder ss3010Hall cf2000
A.Walerak lf3000Glomski 3b3020
Halbach dh3000Marx ss3020
Chapek rf3010Brehmer 1b3000
Felten 1b3020Arens p3000
O'Connell pr0000Dick 2b2000
S.Walerak 3b3010Gosse c1000
Shawback 2b3000Hust lf2000
M.Landherr p2000Pfeilsticker dh2000
SB--Marx. CS--Chapek, Gosse. S--A.Landherr.