Rebels play one for everything
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 28, 2003
Before Tuesday's Section 1A final, there was a question of which Southland team would show up -- the one that handled Wabasha-Kellogg 7-3 during the regular season, or the one that was destroyed by them 12-1 in the first round on Saturday.
The answer would be neither, as Tuesday's version of the Rebels used some late-inning heroics to stun W-K, 3-2, forcing a rematch today with a trip to state on the line in the Section 1A finals.
"The girls were hitting it well tonight, they really came through at the right time," said Southland head coach Karleen Retterath.
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With Michelle Landherr coming off seven innings of work against Blooming Prairie, the Rebels went with Kathy Olson to start the game. She was a little wild in the first, issuing a one-out walk to Amy Glomski and wild-pitching her to second. After a groundout moved her to third, Glomski would come around to score on Olson's second wild pitch of the inning.
In Southland's half of the inning, W-K starter Shelley Arens hit leadoff batter Megan Schroeder, who was then sacrificed to second by Amanda Landherr. But the Rebels couldn't get her home.
Allison Chapek led off the next inning with base hit and a stolen base. She reached third with only one out, but Arens got the last two outs to strand another Rebel baserunner in scoring position.
W-K got to Olson again in the fourth. Glomski led off the inning with a single and was bunted to second. Jessica Brehmer followed with a roller to the right of the mound that Olson made a nice play to get to, but she then uncorked a low throw that Felten could not glove at first, allowing Glomski to score from second to make it 2-0.
"We knew they were going to score," Retterath said. "It was just a question of who would score more."
While making good contact through the first five innings, Southland was continually stymied by the Falcon defense, who always seemed to be in position to make the play.
Arens had retired 14 Rebel batters in a row before Amanda Landherr reached on an error with two outs in the sixth. Amy Walerak then singled to give the Rebels a glimmer of hope.
Shannon Halbach hit what looked to be a routine grounder to second baseman Kadi Dick, who had made some spectacular plays earlier in the game. With Walerak running in front of her, the ball went through Dick and into the outfield, bringing Landherr home with the first run. The right fielder also bobbled the ball on the play, allowing Walerak to score tying run.
With the go-ahead run at second, Chapek delivered her second hit of the game to plate Halbach and send the partisan Southland crowd into a frenzy.
"I tried to stay calm out there," Chapek said of her game-winning at-bat. "It was important to get the momentum back."
"The crowd was amazing," Retterath said. "Rebel fans, there are none better."
After that sudden turnaround, Southland found themselves with just three outs separating them from an improbable win. They also had Michelle Landherr back in, who had retired all six batters she had faced since coming in for Olson to start the fifth.
Wabasha-Kellogg didn't go quietly, getting a one-out single from Brehmer. But Landherr got the last two outs to secure the win and a rematch with the Falcons today for a berth in the Class A state tournament.
"We're going to come out pumped up tomorrow, that's for sure," Chapek said.
Game time is 5 p.m. at Todd Park in Austin. Southland has been to the state tournament five times since 1986, most recently in 1995. Wabasha-Kellogg has never reached the eight-team field in Mankato.
Wabasha-Kellogg 2Southland 3
Hall cf3000Schroeder ss2000
Glomski 3b2210A.Landherr cf2100
Marx ss2000A.Walerak lf3110
Brehmer 1b3010Halbach dh3100
Hust lf3000Chapek rf3021
Gosse c3000Felten 1b3000
Dick 2b2000S. Walerak 3b2000
Arens p2000Shawback 2b2000
Pfeilsticker dh2010Olson p1000
Miller pr0000M.Landherr p1000
SB--Chapek. S--Marx, A.Landherr.
WP--Olson 2. HBP--Schroeder (by Arens).