Welcome to the first installment of the LC Sports Report, an online home for Lewis & Clark Trailblazer sports across all fields and courts. Each week I will wrap up what I was able to catch live, and set the table for each team, updating record and upcoming games.
We start on a chilly, breezy March 19 afternoon where the baseball Trailblazers hosted the Cougars of St. Charles Community College. Baseball in 45 degree weather with no sun is naturally weird, and this game was no exception, with the Trailblazers taking the win 17-6, winning via the collegiate level baseball 10-run rule in the seventh inning.
“You just try to stay focused out there” Trailblazer manager Randy Martz quipped following the game. “It’s easy to get relaxed in games like these.”
Cougar starter Brogan Clark had issues with control, and struggled to find the plate, throwing several wild pitches and walks that inevitably led to 4 of 17 Trailblazer runs. Most of the damage came in the 2nd and 3rd innings, where continued pitching trouble for St. Charles gifted the lead to the Trailblazers. 13 of 17 LC runs were scored in those two innings, capped offensively by a bases clearing 3-run double by Ernest Plummer in the third.
Dylan Hansen, the LC starter, shook off some early nerves after giving up two runs on a string of hits to have a great afternoon on the bump. He pitched five innings, and only gave up one hit after the first, and struck out several St. Charles batters. St. Charles battled back against the Trailblazer relievers and made the scoreline a bit more respectable, with third baseman Ryan Brink launching the game’s only homer for either side. Four runs in the final innings weren’t enough for the Cougars before the run rule took effect in the seventh.
“In games like this you can relax a little bit. That’s where you get in trouble, when you don’t throw strikes, (Hansen) was throwing strikes.” added Martz. The baseball Trailblazers now sit at 8-5 on the season so far, and host Lincoln Land this weekend.
Onto March 21 and the softball diamond for our next afternoon of Lewis and Clark sports, the softball Trailblazers hosted the East Central College Falcons for a doubleheader. A warmer, sunnier afternoon than the baseball game summarized above, but still a brisk day for a bat and ball game by most standards. The Trailblazers were absolutely dominant in both games, winning both by the collegiate level 8-run rule. The first game ended 9-0, the second 11-2.
Game 1 LC starter Hannah Rexford pitched a complete short-game shutout with strikeouts peppered throughout her five innings of work. Falcon bats simply couldn’t find her pitches with any force, and were often dismissed quickly. Get up to use the port-o-john and you may have missed a half inning.
East Central’s Madelyn Webb started out the game strong, a scoreless first and second, but an explosion of Trailblazer offense put any chance of a pitcher’s duel to bed. Two runs in the third off an outfield error and an Allison Beckmann single, four runs in the fourth off a Lauren Meadows 2-RBI triple and a Beth Meunstermann 2-run bomb, and another three in the fifth and final inning, two of which coming from a single off the bat of Abby Palen.
The second of two games felt like it was going to be a bit closer at first. East Central got on the board for the first time in the afternoon with an RBI single from Seeley Friend, and the Falcons looked more up for the second affair. Game two Falcon starter Mackenzie Altenthal struggled with placing her pitches, and their lead was short-lived, with LC plating three runs in the first.
The second Trailblazer starter of the afternoon, Kaylee Hefley, remained calm after giving up a run in each of the first two innings, and kept the East Central offense at bay as the Trailblazers teed off. Her afternoon potentially highlighted by a great hustle play in the third, diving and tagging a retreating Seeley Friend who was trying to get back to third base.
Peyton Tisdale was seeing the ball really well in game two, and every at bat of hers was a productive one. Tisdale’s at bats in game two, in order: two-run homer, sacrifice RBI, two-run homer (again). Five of the eleven Trailblazer runs on the board were a direct result of her impact. Beth Muenstermann smacked a two-RBI single in the second, and walked in two other plate appearances, a great day for her on base percentage.
Trailblazer softball has got out to a hot start, 9-3 on the young NJCAA softball season. With two wins on the 21st they now possess a five game winning streak as they head into a doubleheader at John Wood on March 23, and back home the day after to host the Hawks from Heartland Community College.
Next week I will wrap up baseball vs. the Mineral Area Cardinals, and softball vs. Heartland.
You can follow me on Twitter @SportWatcherPRO, where I tweet from games as they happen, and tweet about the sports world as a whole.