Nathan Broek | Sports Editor
Trinity Christian 2-1-0-4-0-0-0 7
Gehlen Catholic 0-3-0-0-0-3-0 6
LEMARS-Gehlen Catholic made Trinity Christian sweat more often than not in a first-round game in the Class 1A Region 1 softball tournaments Monday, July 2, but the Tigers felt they never lost momentum as they defeated the Jays 7-6.
Trinity Christian got on the board first with two runs in the top of the first with a two-run single by Shayna De Roon.
“To start the game off with two runs was good. We’ve been hitting the ball well this last week, so we just needed to see it continue into tonight,” said Tigers’ coach Kassandra Heynen. “I was glad to see us carry that momentum into tonight and see us beat a team that we got 12-run ruled by earlier in the season (13-1 loss June 4).”
Trinity Christian added another run in the top of the third, but Gehlen Catholic scored three in the bottom half to tie the game at 3. However, after a scoreless third stanza the Tigers rallied for four runs to claim a 7-3 advantage.
“They did a fantastic job responding. To score four runs in the fourth inning gave us another boost of confidence at the midway point of the game,” coach Heynen said.
The Jays made another couple rallies, however, scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth and then loading the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. But Koralee Heynen ended the game on a swinging strikeout.
“In the bottom of the fifth I thought Koralee was looking a little tired there, so we warmed up Ashley (Van Egdom), but she (Koralee Heynen) came out roaring in the sixth and that was fun to see,” coach Heynen said.
The final line for Heynen in the pitcher’s circle was seven innings of work with eight hits, six runs that were all earned, seven walks and 12 strikeouts.
“She was smiling out there tonight. You don’t see that often, so we knew she was having fun,” coach Heynen said. “She also knows that we have a good defense behind her. Abbie Kuiper made a few nice catches out there and Caitlin Van Engen fielded a bunt that was crucial.”
Overall, Heynen said this game was Trinity Christian’s to win from the start.
“We got it done, especially with runners on base. We haven’t been in those types of situations before where the game is on the line and we have a lead. I was anxious to see how they would respond. But at the same time they were having the greatest time, so I just felt like it was going to happen because they were so confident in what they had done in the past six innings. We knew Gehlen was going to have to earn it in order for them to make it happen,” coach Heynen said.
The Tigers advanced to round two of the tournament Tuesday, July 3, at Newell-Fonda.
Season comes to a close in Newell
Trinity Christian 0-0-0-0-0-1-0 1
Newell-Fonda 2-3-0-2-2-0 9
NEWELL-Trinity Christian had a tough time getting anything going with the bats and had trouble keeping Newell-Fonda at bay in a 9-1 Class 1A Region 1 softball tournament defeat Tuesday, July 3.
The Mustangs scored two runs in the first, three runs in the second and five runs in the fifth for a 7-0 lead. Trinity Christian scored its lone run of the contest off a one-run single by Sydney Brummel that scored Caitlin Van Engen. But Newell-Fonda scored two more runs in the bottom half of the sixth to account for the final score.
The final offensive numbers had Alyssa Uittenbogaard with a hit, Van Engen with a hit and a run, Ashley Van Egdom with a hit, Brummel with a hit and one RBI and Alyssa Maassen with one hit. The Tigers, unfortunately, also struck out eight times as a team.
“I felt like we let ourselves get behind in the count too fast. We got two strikes on us right away and we ended up striking out swinging, or we got caught looking a couple times,” said Trinity Christian coach Kassandra Heynen. “I thought their pitcher did a good job hitting the outside corner, which we ended up swinging and missing on for that third strike.”
Koralee Heynen was the starting pitcher and threw six innings with 14 hits, nine runs that were all earned, one walk and five strikeouts. Coach Heynen said the Mustangs’ offense was simply tough to stop.
“I thought Koralee did a great job. She only had one walk, but they hit the ball and they hit it in the gap,” coach Heynen said. “We did have four errors. Those didn’t allow them to score, but it did allow them to get extra bases. Our outfielders had three of our four errors, so they took everything they could on us.”
The Tigers finished the 2018 season with a 7-14 overall record.
“Looking back we only had three or four wins last year. This year we got seven, which I think is a big accomplishment for us,” coach Heynen said. “I thought the girls did a lot of good things. I saw a lot of improvement throughout the season. We had a new catcher this year (Caitlin Van Engen) and by the end she was able to stop people from running around the bases on her. She worked really hard there and she did a good job.
“We also had solid pitching this season when in the past we’ve had injuries the past couple years. So it was nice to see a nice, consistent pitching staff this year,” coach Heynen continued. “Koralee and Ashley (Van Egdom) did a good job. So I was really happy. It was a fun year. Our four seniors did a nice job for us. We’re going to miss them a lot next year, but we saw improvement and that was great.”