In Play with Tom Markowski

Ida scores three runs in the seventh, gets four in the ninth to defeat Richmond, 8-4, in D2 final

Softball   | Tom Markowski

Ida scores three runs in the seventh, gets four in the ninth to defeat Richmond, 8-4, in D2 final

 

East Lansing – All seemed hopeless for Ida. The Bluestreaks were down to their final out and they trailed defending champion Richmond by two runs.

But Ida coach Dawn Forter wasn’t as concerned as one might have thought. After all, Forter had a base runner aboard and a four-year starter at the plate.

Brook Woelmer hit a line drive to right to score Sydney Motylinski and when the ball was misplayed Woelmer came around to score tying the game at 3-3.

The game went to extra innings and, in the top of the ninth, Ida scored four runs to defeat Richmond, 8-4, in the Division 2 at Michigan State on Saturday.

“They haven’t given up all year,” Ida coach Dawn Forter said. “We were lucky to have (Woelmer) up there. It did seem we gained the momentum. It seems they got a little rattled. (Richmond sophomore Erin Shuboy) is a young pitcher.

“We’re a pretty emotional group. At least I am. This is what we play for. Certainly, a title can build momentum for the program.”

Ida does have a proud history. In Class C the Bluestreaks won titles in 1989 and ’94. They also reached the final in this class in ’88 and ’93. Eleven years ago Ida lost in the Division 3 final.

Ida (37-7) scored on a wild pitch to take a 4-3 lead in the eighth but Richmond (36-8) came back to tie it on a sacrifice fly by Amy Thueme.

The Bluestreaks batted around in the ninth and five players had singles. Taylor Wegener hit a sacrifice fly for Ida’s fifth run. Malorie Duvall and Whitney Wegener had RBI singles.

 Autumn Brososky, who relieved starter Lauren Kreps with two outs in the sixth, set the side down in order in the bottom half of the ninth to get the victory.

“It’s something else to represent Ida like this,” Woelmer said.

The Wegeners led Ida with three hits, a run and an RBI apiece. Whitney is a junior catcher who was still stunned by the reversal of fortunes minutes after the game.

“It’s crazy,” she said. “We played ball together since we were little girls. It’s the best feeling in the world.

“Once Brook got that hit, that positiveness just came alive.”

Carley Barjaktarovich had three hits to lead Richmond. The junior shortstop took a bad hop ground ball to the face in the third inning but remained in the game.

Longtime Richmond coach Howard Stuart said he’s experienced similar disheartening defeats. In the Division 3 final in 1998 and ’99 Richmond lost both finals to Kalamazoo Christian (2-1 and 3-2) when Christian scored a run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

“This game just got away from us,” he said. “We made some strange choices. We made three errors in our first six tournament games.”

Richmond made one costly error on Saturday.