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Swing shift

MINOOKA — Facing a 3-0 deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning to the rival Morris Redskins, the Minooka Indians softball team knew they needed to score quickly to bring home a victory on senior night.

Scoring is exactly what the Indians did, as they pushed across five runs in the frame to defeat the Redskins 5-3 on Friday night. Junior Marissa Burns won the game for the Indians with a 2-RBI double, bringing in Meghan Quirke and Kelly Holstine. 

“That was amazing,” Burns said of her game-winning double. “It was probably the biggest hit for me all season.”

What was the talk after the game, though, was the play right before Burns’ double. With Morris up 3-2, Holstine came up to bat for Minooka. The senior lined one to the left side of the infield, where it seemed as if it would go through to the outfield for a base hit. 

Redskins’ third basemen Lauren Severson had other ideas and snagged the hopper. Severson fell to the ground diving for the ball, which allowed Holstine a chance to reach on an infield single. Severson made a great throw to first, and appeared to have gotten the third out of the inning. That wasn’t the case, however, as the umpire ruled Holstine safe at first, allowing the tying run to come across for Minooka. 

The play not only affected the score of the game, but surely swung the momentum in favor of the Indians.

“That made me so nervous,” Holstine said when Severson made the play at third. “I knew I just had to run as fast as possible. I figured she’d have to dive, otherwise I wouldn’t have beaten the throw out.”

“That call right there was the game,” Morris coach Jen Lowery said. “On a close call like that, it could have gone either way. If that ball gets through to the outfield, though, two runs were going to score for sure. So credit Severson for at least keeping that run in.”

Neither team was able to gain an advantage until the fifth inning where Morris finally pushed across a run on a RBI single from Alex Kjellesvik. The Redskins threatened for more in the inning, but Minooka turned a 1-3-2 double play to end the inning.

After a 1-2-3 inning from Minooka in the bottom of the fifth, Morris once again struck offensively, as it scored two runs in the sixth to go up 3-0. Laney Torkelson and Erica Gualandi brought in runs for the Redskins in the sixth.

Still, Morris couldn’t hold on to the lead, as Gualandi found struggles on the mound in the sixth, giving up the five runs scored by the Indians. The defense didn’t help out much either for Gualandi, as two errors in the field hurt Morris in the sixth. 

“I wouldn’t even call it a bad inning for her. She threw balls that should have been outs, but they were errors and unfinished plays,” Lowery said of her starter. “She threw a good game for us.”

The win puts Minooka at 12-6 overall on the season.

“This season has been a grind for us. When it’s gone bad, it’s gotten really bad,” Minooka coach Mark Brown said. “You can’t change the past, though, so we’re taking it one game at a time.”

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