Connect with us


WEATHERING THE STORM: Moniteau Loses Eight-run Lead, But Gets Winning Run in Bottom of Seventh for Dramatic and Wild 13-12 Win Over Forest Area

WEST SUNBURY, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Suddenly it was gone. An eight-run lead erased in just a few swings of the bat.

But the Moniteau softball team didn’t flinch.

After a 12-4 lead over Forest Area in the sixth inning had turned into a 12-12 deadlock heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Warriors huddled near their dugout before coming to the plate.

“Coach (Bob) Rottman just said, ‘We need base hits. That’s all we need,’” said Moniteau catcher Addy Williams. “That’s what we did.”

“Just pass the bat,” said shortstop Emily Staab. “Pass the bat and keep it going.”

(Pictured above, Moniteau’s Emily Staab, left, and Addy Williams)

Ashley Huffman led off the bottom of the seventh with a bloop single to left, moved up to second on a groundout by Mariska Shunk, and then came around to score as Williams poked a single to right to give the Warriors a 13-12 win on Friday afternoon over the Fires.

“I told myself in the batter’s box, ‘I just need a base hit,’” Williams said. “‘That’s all I need.’ And that’s what I did.”

Williams’ heroics ended a wild game of momentum shifts.

Moniteau (3-5) looked like it was going to cruise to the win.

Faith Dietrich had other plans.

The Forest slugger hit a two-run homer in the sixth to help spark a four-run rally that cut the Warriors’ lead to 12-8.

She then stepped into the box with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the seventh and drilled a no-doubt home run over the center field fence to tie the score at 12-12.

Rottman had pondered intentionally walking Dietrich, who came into the game batting .667, in that situation. But Alexis Oswald, another dangerous hitter, lurked on-deck.

“I thought about walking her, too,” Rottman said, smiling.

Instead, he opted for reliever Lexi McGhee to pitch to Dietrich and the senior made Moniteau pay.

Dietrich finished the game with six RBIs.

“It’s one of the most important things I want to see out of the girls,” said Forest coach Eric Flick. “I’m always excited to see them battle back in any situation. Win or lose, I go home feeling good about the comebacks. I know they’ll sharpen it up when it matters later.”

Forest jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Moniteau answered with three in the bottom of the frame, the key blow a two-run homer by Williams.

The Fires again took the lead with two more runs in the top of the second, but again the Warriors scored three in the bottom half of the inning for a 6-4 lead.

Emil Staab hit one of her four doubles on the day to drive home Shunk to give Moniteau a 7-4 lead.

Lily Staab hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to stake the Warriors to that 12-4 advantage.

“We haven’t really been hitting well in the last week or two,” Rottman said. “We got some help from the other team’s defense. That’s what our focus has been in the last week, just putting the ball in play, hitting line drives. Today is what I expected out of this team.”

Rottman was also proud of the way his team didn’t get flustered after coughing up the eight-run lead.

There was no panic.

“I can say this about the girls over the years here. They’ve always fought back and they’ve always never quit,” Rottman said. “I was comfortable (when it was tied at 12-12) because we had Ashley coming up at the top of the order and I knew we had a good chance to win if she could get on with the way Mariska Shunk and Addy Williams and Emily and Lily Staab have been hitting the ball. Addy cashed in, so very happy with that.”

Moniteau nearly avoided the whole drama before Dietrich stepped to the plate.

Brooke Felleti hit a pop up that Lily Staab couldn’t quite reach on a diving attempt that would have ended the game. Felleti reached on an infield single on the play, loaded the bases for Dietrich.

McGhee got the win in relief.

Izzy Flick got the loss, striking out six in 6⅓ innings. 

She has been pitching in pain because of a blister on the bottom of her left foot.

Izzy Flick was visibly hobbled for most of the game and in near tears when the bottom of the seventh began.

“It’s a monster blister, and she’s really hurting from it,” said Eric Flick. “She’s an animal. She puts it all out there and she deserves all the credit. It’s her plant foot and I can’t give her enough credit for how she battles through the hardship she has out there. It hurts every single pitch.”

The win was a big one for Moniteau early in the season.

“That takes us to 3-1 in conference play,” Rottman said. “When it comes to qualifying for the playoffs, we have a .500 rule in the conference, so this was huge.”