MORRIS – For five innings, the Morris varsity softball team couldn’t muster a hit against Plainfield North freshman Abby Kruzel. However, with their backs against the wall in the sixth, the redskins finally got the bats going on their way to a 4-2 comeback victory that moved their record to 14-1 on the year.
Morris freshman pitcher Abby Burns got off to a bit of a rough start. She gave up a home run to Plainfield North senior Taylor Willhalm in the top of the first and an unearned run in the second to put Morris in a 2-0 hole.
“After those runs in the first and second, my fielders were doing great picking me up,” Burns said.
And with her fielder’s giving her confidence, Burns settled in nicely. She went on on to strike out six, and from the third inning on, the Tigers only managed two hits.
However, at the plate it took Morris a little bit longer to come around.
Not only did the Redskins fail to get a hit through five innings, Kruzel was perfect for Plainfield North heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. That’s when the bottom of the Redskins’ lineup finally got a rally started.
After stringing together a base hit into left field and a bunt single to give Morris runners at first and second with nobody out, Morris designated player and No. 9 hitter Emma Thomas settled in for an at-bat that doesn’t stand out in a box score but would prove to be critical.
After failing to get down a bunt, Thomas fouled off three pitches and worked the count to full before hitting a slow chopper to third on the ninth pitch of the at-bat that would advanced the runners and set the table for the top of Morris’ order.
“I was a little worried after I didn’t get my bunt down,” Thomas said. “But I still knew I had to do my job, and after fouling off all those pitches I had to put the ball in play.”
“It was a huge at-bat for Emma,” Morris coach Jen Lowery added. “Leah (Lines) got the inning going with the hit, and when Emma moved the runners over into scoring position with one out, we were set. Even if our leadoff hit a pop up to the outfield, we were probably going to score a run.”
Instead, Morris managed four. Lines eventually scored on a passed ball, before junior center fielder Taya Torkelson singled in the tying run. An RBI single by Kellen Bernickus and an RBI double by Alex Cook eventually gave Morris the 4-2 lead.
In the seventh, Burns shut the door on the Tigers with a 1-2-3 inning.