Lady Pilgrims advance vs Glenn

LAKEVILLE — The old saying holds that the third time’s the charm.
Plymouth couldn’t argue with that Tuesday.
Marissa Sullivan and battery mate Emilee Keilman both cranked out two-run homers in Plymouth’s third time through the order, and the Lady Pilgrims used a four-run fifth to snap a 0-0 stalemate en route to a 6-2 defeat of John Glenn in Class 3A St. Joseph’s Softball Sectional action at Newton Park.
Plymouth advances to the semifinals to play Jimtown tonight at 7 p.m. following a game between host St. Joe and Culver Girls Academy.
“Third time through the order, and at that point in time we hadn’t had anybody hit the ball hard,” said Plymouth head coach Ed Kelso. “Marissa hit the ball hard, then we got another one on, and Em hits one hard out to center field.”
For Glenn head coach Jon Banks, Tuesday’s sectional loss was too reminiscent of the Lady Falcons’ 3-2 loss to Plymouth back on April 12.
“That wasn’t supposed to happen because those were the two batters, Sullivan and Keilman, that beat us earlier in the year,” he said. “Granted, everybody has to play defense and the rest of their team beat us with their D, but those two beat us with their sticks. I told them nothing close. They got something a little too close to both of them, and you seen that one was about 220 feet. It stings a little, but it’s a learning experience.”
Neither team had yet recorded a single hit as the two teams remained locked in a pitchers’ duel until Plymouth broke it open in the top of the fifth.
Junior center fielder Britney Horvath outlasted sophomore Glenn starter Macy Jankowski with a lead-off walk on a six-pitch at-bat to bring the top of the Pilgrims order around, and Sullivan went yard out to left on Jankowski’s first offering to put Plymouth up 2-0. Kailey Whitley kept the Pilgrims’ bats going with a single through the gap at short, and Keilman took Jankowski deep on her first offering with a deep shot straight out to center that put Plymouth up 4-0. Junior short stop Morgan O’Neal singled with a liner through the gap at short, and Banks replaced Jankowski inside the circle with senior Mackenzie Mance. Pilgrims junior left fielder April Hampton reached on an error at short, and sophomore second baseman Sarah Iwinski laid down a bunt for a single to lead the bases with none out before Mance induced a groundout, an infield fly and a fielder’s choice ball to short to retire the side without any further damage.
The score remained 4-nil until the Pilgrims plated another two runs in the top of the seventh.
Hampton reached on an error with one out and took second on a wild pitch by Glenn freshman closer Holly Adams, and Iwinski grounded through the gap at second to move her over to third. Freshman Bailey Brown came through with a pinch hit single to score Hampton and move Iwinski to second before both advanced on a wild pitch, and sophomore first baseman Samantha Wojcik scored Iwinski with a groundout to short. Horvath grounded out to second to end the threat with Plymouth up 6-0.
Glenn fought until the end, though.
Junior first baseman Stephanie Dreessen singled with a hard grounder to third, and Adams drew a one-out walk. Junior second baseman Carah Ochs singled in Dreesen with a flare into shallow center, and freshman short stop Josie Jankowski rapped out another two-out single to load the bases. Freshman left fielder Aubrie Banks coaxed a walk on a six-pitch at-bat to score Adams and bring the tying run to the plate, but senior catcher Amanda Bogard went down swinging to finalize the Pilgrims win.
“They don’t give up; they’ll fight you to the end,” said Jon Banks. “Which was the thing today. One swing of the bat in that last inning, we’re all tied up ready to go. I think if that would have happened our girls would have been ready to go. Our girls, once they get there, they’re there.”
“That’s a typical Plymouth and Glenn game. I know Glenn isn’t going to go away without making some noise,” said Kelso.
“It was about what I expected. I knew it was going to be a nail-biter, and thankfully we got a couple hits when we needed them the most.”
Sullivan finished with 15 strikeouts while giving up five hits and five walks as Plymouth moved to 10-19 and advanced to the sectional semis.
Glenn closed out the season at 10-14 and bids goodbye to seniors Mance, Bogard, Kylie Blair and Katelyn Russell.
“The girls wanted it for the seniors,” said Glenn’s skipper. “Last year we were really young too; we were over half freshman. That was a big start for them, and this year going in a lot of freshmen and sophomores and two senior (starters). But the girls have stepped up, and I told them ‘Hey, you’re always going to have that one time you need to do something, and it’s up to you, I can’t do it for you.’ So far, well, this game it didn’t happen. They know, I preach to them all the time, they probably get tired of hearing it. But all in all, they’re a pretty good group of girls.”
At Class 3A St. Joseph’s Sectional at Newton Park
Plymouth: 000 040 2 — 6 7 0
Glenn: 000 000 2 — 2 5 3
Marissa Sullivan (W); Macy Jankowski (L), Mackenzie Mance (5), Holly Adams (7).
HR: Sullivan (P), Emilee Keilman (P)
Records: Glenn 10-14 (final), Plymouth 10-19