Minster softball wins opener over Fort Recovery

Seth Kinker
Sports Editor

The Minster softball team opened their summer schedule with a win, taking down fellow Midwestern Athletic Conference (MAC) foe Fort Recovery, 3-2 at Four Seasons Park.

It was a defensive battle for most of the evening with the bottom of the fifth inning being the difference maker for the Lady Wildcats when they scored two runs to take the lead and held on in the end to come away with the run one win.

Fort Recovery struck first, leading off with a single before that leadoff batter stole second and was brought home by the second batter on a bloop to right field.

Offensively, Minster was getting hits early but couldn’t put runners into scoring position.

“(They have) a great pitcher,” said Minster head coach Robb Hemmelgarn. “She went through our line up the first time  and I had a feeling it would take a bit to time her up, especially some of the girls that played in the JV game. Once we made contact early, even though they were caught, it gave us a little bit of confidence that we can hit her.”

Then, in the bottom of the  fourth inning, after Minster sophomore Savanah Bergman was walked to lead off, she advanced to third by stealing second and getting to third base on an errant pitch.

Minster freshman Lyndi Hemmelgarn singled to center field to bring home Bergman and tie the game at one.

After a 1-2-3 top of the fifth inning for the Minster defense, Minster sophomore Emma Goubeaux singled to center right field on a one out pitch followed by a walk for senior Samantha Trego.

Minster junior Rachael Hoying hit a liner straight to a Fort Recovery infielder who couldn’t handle it as Goubeaux scored from second to give Minster the 2-1 lead.

One batter later, and with two outs, Hemmelgarn dropped a bloop into center field that had the infield and outfield just steps away to bring home Trego for the 3-1 lead.

Fort Recovery would answer in the top of the sixth, a standup two out double brought home a runner from second and put runners on second and third but a strikeout from Minster pitcher Laney Hemmelgarn ended the threat with Minster holding the 3-2 lead.

L. Hemmelgarn, who pitched a complete game, closed the last inning with two strikeouts and a groundout.

“Three months ago, we didn’t know if we were going to play again until next spring,” said Robb Hemmelgarn. “Win or lose, this is what everybody needed. Our seniors, we have four playing, our freshman who missed their first season and our sophomore and juniors. It’s not the spring but how often is your first game 85 degrees? What else can we ask for?”

“I told them ironically, no matter what happened tonight win or lose, our culture got a W on May 26,” added Hemmelgarn harkening back to when it was discovered softball would be taking place this summer. “When I didn’t ask who could all play or who wanted to do it. I kind of just said, ‘here’s our practice and game schedule.’ Then the day before our first practice I said, ‘reminder, practice tomorrow night at  four o’clock.’ Everybody came out. I didn’t have to beg or do anything like that, it’s a testament to our program and culture. That was our W for the entire summer but it was nice to get out and get one on the scoreboard too."

For more photos from this game, visit here.