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Lady Warriors win season opener

  • Steeleville's Julia Niepert slides past Anna-Jonesboro catcher Hailey Abernathy in the bottom of the fourth inning on Thursday. Niepert was ruled safe on the play and the Lady Warriors went on to beat the Lady Wildcats, 9-6, in the season opener for both teams.

    Steeleville's Julia Niepert slides past Anna-Jonesboro catcher Hailey Abernathy in the bottom of the fourth inning on Thursday. Niepert was ruled safe on the play and the Lady Warriors went on to beat the Lady Wildcats, 9-6, in the season opener for both teams.
    Pete Spitler/Herald Tribune

 
By Pete Spitler
Editor@heraldtrib.com
Posted on 3/18/2017, 1:23 PM

Josie Raby and Haley Troue each went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Mackenzie Pim also homered as the Steeleville Lady Warriors won their home and season opener with a 9-6 win over Anna-Jonesboro on Thursday.

Steeleville trailed 4-1 after two and a half innings thanks to a two-run homer by Anna-Jonesboro's Lexi Macy off Lady Warriors starter Sydney Hood in the top of the third.

But Steeleville came right back in the bottom of the inning on Pim's two-run blast to right field - a play in which Anna-Jonesboro's center fielder, Macy, was injured in a collision with the fence while chasing the fly ball.

"Getting down 4-1 was a little rough, but I think the girls fought back and got back in the game," said Steeleville coach Andy Gerlach. "That was one thing I did like about that, that they fought back and didn't lay down."

Steeleville took the lead in the bottom of the fourth, taking advantage of an error by Anna-Jonesboro first baseman Abby Williams to tie the game at 4 and then getting the go-ahead run on a bloop single by Raby.

"I just wanted the girls to come out and play well," Gerlach said. "I thought we had a rough start, but I thought during the later innings, we played well."

Steeleville continued to add on to its lead in the fifth, getting a RBI double by AnnaBeth Batson for a 6-4 lead and a run-scoring single by Troue for a three-run advantage.

The Lady Warriors added their final two runs in the sixth to take a 9-4 lead into the seventh, when Anna-Jonesboro scored its final two runs.

"I was nice that we put up nine runs, but defensively, I don't like giving up six runs," Gerlach said. "There were a couple of errors that we had that we need to fix."

Sydnie Furman and Lexi Middendorf also finished with RBIs for Steeleville, which banged out nine hits - including a double by Karley Kothe. Hood allowed all six runs (four earned) on six hits with nine strikeouts.