Miscues on defense allow Jays to slip past Tigers

Nathan Broek | Sports Editor

Trinity Christian catcher Caitlin Van Engen begins to catch a throw from the outfield as a Gehlen Catholic player begins to slide into home plate during non-conference softball Monday, June 4. The Tigers fell to the Jays 13-1. (Photo/Nathan Broek)

Gehlen Catholic 1-0-0-5-2-5-X  13

Trinity Christian 1-0-0-0-0-0-0-X  1

HULL-Trinity Christian was playing a clean softball game against Gehlen Catholic for non-conference play Monday, June 4, but two errors in the fourth inning gave the Jays all the momentum and the Tigers fell 13-1 in six innings.

Gehlen Catholic scored one run in the top of the first, but Trinity Christian came right back with a run in the bottom of the first off a one-run single by Koralee Heynen. The next two frames went scoreless, before the Jays got two runners on base in the top of the fourth thanks to two Tigers’ errors. Gehlen promptly made Trinity Christian pay, scoring five runs.

“In the fourth inning, two of the runs were unearned. We started off the inning with two errors in a row. We could have had two outs and nobody on. Koralee then struck the next batter out so we could have had three up and three down. But instead we had to almost pitch through the entire lineup and that was too bad,” said Tigers’ coach Kassandra Heynen.

Gehlen then put the game away with two runs in the top of the fifth and then five more runs in the top of the sixth to enforce the mercy rule.

“They (the Jays) were picking the best strikes they could get and they were hitting them hard. Defensively, there were some plays we should have made that we were not able to make to help our pitching out. We had a few errors in there and I felt we let it ‘snowball’ from there,” coach Heynen said.

That “snowball” affect mostly came on offense for the Tigers. Alyssa Uittenbogaard finished the game with two hits, one run and a steal. Heynen had a hit, one RBI and a walk. Abbie Kuiper had one hit. Alyssa Maassen stole a base and Madelyn Van Ginkel also had a stolen base after coming in as a pinch runner.

“After that (the fourth inning) we just struggled to get the bat on the ball, or at least foul it off. We had three up and three down in the bottom of the fourth after they scored their runs, so after giving up those errors and only seeing three of our batters get up into the (batter’s) box to give us a shot to get some of those runs back was disheartening,” the coach said.

Coach Heynen hoped her team would forget about this game and move on to the next one.

“It was a learning experience. We talked about moving on, having to battle back, not letting things ‘snowball’ and find our confidence back,” the coach said. “I thought we had a great week last week. So we can’t let last night characterize us and allow us to get back into a hole.”

Heynen was the starting pitcher for this contest and she went five and one-third innings with five hits, 10 runs of which seven were earned, five walks and five strikeouts. Ashley Van Egdom got the final two outs in the top of the sixth with one hit, three runs that were all earned, three walks and two strikeouts.

Tigers drop two games in Lake Park

Game 1

Harris-Lake Park 0-0-0-3-0-2-2  7

Trinity Christian  1-4-0-0-0-0-0  5

Game 2

Trinity Christian  7-0-0-0-1-0-0  8

Harris-Lake Park 1-0-0-9-3-0-0  13

LAKE PARK-Trinity Christian had a lot of offense to start out both games of a softball doubleheader with War Eagle Conference foe Harris-Lake Park, but the Tigers got cold offensively at the end of both contests and were unable to come away with victories Wednesday, June 6.

The first game was a makeup game due to a rainout in late May and Trinity Christian was the home team. The Tigers scored one run in the first and four runs in the second with the big hit coming from Koralee Heynen with a three-run double.  Heynen then came in to score herself on a double by Sydney Brummel. Harris-Lake Park responded with three in the top of the fourth, but the Tigers still held a lead at 5-3 going into the top of the sixth.

“We started this game very well. We had an excellent first two innings offensively. We saw in the bottom of the second our lineup hit more consistently. We loaded the bases and Koralee Heynen hit a double to bring them all in. Then Sydney Brummel hit a double to bring in Koralee. It was a really exciting inning for us,” said Trinity Christian coach Kassandra Heynen.

Coach Heynen also liked Koralee’s efforts in the pitcher’s circle for the first couple innings.

“On the mound, Koralee did an excellent job for us through the first five innings, just allowing three runs on three hits,” coach Heynen said.

But the Wolves soon got hot, scoring two runs in the top of the sixth to tie the game at 5. Coach Heynen made the move to bring in Alyssa Maassen for the final two outs of the sixth, but Harris-Lake Park then scored two more runs in the top of the seventh to account for the final score. The final line for Koralee Heynen was five and one-third innings of work with six hits, five runs that were all earned, one walk and five strikeouts. Maassen threw one and two-thirds innings with no hits, two runs that were all earned, three walks and one strikeout.

But coach Heynen noted the main issue was a lack of offense in the final innings.

“Our bats got cold in the sixth and seventh and we were just not able to answer with any runs to finish the game. I was really happy with how we started the game. However, we need to find a consistency and strive to have better at-bats throughout the entirety of the game so that we can do damage in the later innings when teams begin hitting the ball,” coach Heynen said.

The final offensive numbers for this contest had Alyssa Uittenbogaard with one hit and two runs. Caitlin Van Engen had one hit, one walk and one run. Koralee Heynen had one hit, which was a double, a run and four RBIs. Brummel hit a double and had one RBI. Jayden Hoksbergen had one hit. Ashley Van Egdom had one hit. Abbie Kuiper had a hit and one walk. Maassen had a hit, a run and a walk.

In game two, in which the Tigers were the away team, they once again had a strong start, scoring six runs in the top of the first. The Wolves countered with a run in the bottom half, but Trinity Christian got that run right back in the top of the second. After a scoreless third frame, Harris-Lake Park ripped off nine runs in the bottom of fourth. The Tigers tallied one run in the top of the fifth, but the Wolves quickly put the game out of reach with three runs in the bottom half of the fifth.

Maassen was the starting pitcher in this contest and she threw three and one-third innings with four hits, six runs of which four were earned, two walks and two strikeouts. Ashley Van Egdom threw the final two and two-thirds innings with five hits, six runs of which four were earned, two walks and one strikeout.

“We started off the game great, scoring six runs in the top of the first inning. Due to the doubleheader we had a few people in different places, but I was really happy with how we started the game,” coach Heynen said. “In the bottom of the fourth inning, they began to hit the ball so we switched pitchers. However, we gave up nine runs that inning and were never able to recover from that.”

The final offensive numbers for this contest had Uittenbogaard with two hits, one run, two RBIs, three steals and a walk. Heynen had one hit, two runs and one RBI. Brummel had one hit, one run, one RBI and two walks. Kuiper had one hit, one run and two RBIs. Maassen scored once. Elizabeth Poppema had two hits, one run and two RBIs.

“I thought the girls had a great night overall. We are seeing improvement offensively and we are making plays defensively. Our outfielders did a great job making outs that our pitchers really needed. We are definitely improving, which is what we want to see,” coach Heynen said.

Late rally falls short against South O’Brien

Trinity Christian 0-0-0-0-0-0-2  2

South O’Brien      0-2-1-0-0-0-0  3

PAULLINA-Trinity Christian made a couple mistakes on defense to allow South O’Brien to score three runs early in the game, but the Tigers just about made a comeback in a 3-2 War Eagle Conference softball defeat Friday, June 8.

The Wolverines scored two runs in the bottom of the second and one run in the bottom of the third, but only two of those runs were earned. However, South O’Brien was held scoreless the rest of the way. Koralee Heynen was in the pitcher’s circle and she threw all seven innings with three hits, three runs and, as previously mentioned, two earned runs, four walks and three strikeouts.

“It was a really good game. I thought, defensively, we made the plays. We looked strong and we held it together in all the innings,” said Tigers’ coach Kassandra Heynen. “We did have two errors on base hits as balls got past our outfielders and runners got extra bases on those in the second and third when they scored their runs, so those were costly. However, the rest of the game was played very cleanly.”

Coach Heynen felt the defense was what allowed Trinity Christian to have an opportunity to come back.

“I thought Koralee did an excellent job pitching all six innings. We had a couple three-up and three-down innings in the first and sixth innings and those are just a lot of fun. It helps build momentum. We didn’t score, but we got three outs right away, which allowed us to try again,” coach Heynen said.

The offense was hard to come by for the most part in this game, but Trinity Christian made things interesting in the top of the seventh. Shayna De Roon led off the frame with a single and Jayden Hoksbergen followed that up with a walk. Ashley Van Egdom then hit a single to score De Roon. Following a sacrifice bunt, Alyssa Maassen drove in what was the final run of the game on a single as the Tigers where unable to complete the comeback.

The final offensive numbers had De Roon with two hits in three plate appearances and one run. Van Egdom had one hit and one RBI. Maassen had one hit and one RBI. Caitlin Van Engen had one hit. Hoksbergen scored once.

“On the flip side, we didn’t get a lot of runners on base throughout the game, but it was really fun to battle back in the seventh inning and to get runners on base,” coach Heynen said. “It was just a fun seventh inning. A lot of energy there and it’s the best we’ve played in a week and a half.”

The coach feels this five-game losing streak is coming close to an end. Trinity Christian fell to 3-6 overall after this contest.

“This last week has been tough for us and we know we can play better because we saw that in the first few games of the season (3-1 start after May 30). Wednesday night we had a close loss in a conference game with Harris-Lake Park, so we know we have potential. We just need to find it back,” coach Heynen said.

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