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Tigresses outlast Midland on Senior Night

Julia Bauer drops down a sacrifice bunt for Princeton in Thursday’s game with Midland.
Julia Bauer drops down a sacrifice bunt for Princeton in Thursday’s game with Midland.

PRINCETON — The Princeton Tigresses had plans to end Thursday’s Senior Night contest on a rainy day against Midland by the 10-run rule in five innings. Midland had other ideas.

The Timberwolves sent 14 batters to the plate in the top of the fifth, scoring 10 runs to take a 14-13 lead. PHS tied the game and then took the lead in the bottom of the sixth on Abby Jaques’ two-run homer to escape with a 16-14 win.

Going into the top of the fifth PHS coach Bob James said, “I told Madison (pitcher Menzel) let’s get them in order here, score a run here and we’ll get out of here. We had that big inning, 13-4, I’m thinking getting out there in a 10-run rule.”

However, Midland batted around, making good on the phrase, when it pours it rains. Fourteen batters later, it was a new ballgame.

The Tigresses put their rally hats on in the bottom of the sixth. Freshman Alisa Holmbeck led off with a single, moved to third on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Heidi James and scored on a Midland error. Jaques put the icing on the Senior Night cake with a two-run blast just over the left fielder’s glove.

Senior Kat Pranka made her season debut in the circle, pitching the final two innings in relief of a tiring Menzel, to earn the victory.

The teams played through a steady rain with tents placed over both team’s benches to keep players dry while their teams batted. On a normal day, the game likely would have been called, James said, but PHS wanted to get the Senior Night game in to honor its four seniors - Sydney Hall, Heidi James, Makenzey Wilson and Pranka.

“At least Senior Day worked out and we got the win,” Bob James said.

The Tigresses’ bats rained on Midland in the second, sending 12 hitters to the plate, scoring eight runs on eight hits to take an 8-1 lead.

Mollie Bates got the parade going with a leadoff walk and was moved up to second by a sac bunt by Steph Farrell. Holmbeck cracked a deep double to left, perhaps being the most surprised person in the park as she ran through first base before heading to second, driving in Bates to tie the game at 1.

Hall and Heidi James followed with RBI hits. After a sac by Julia Bauer, Jaques had a RBI single, Pranka a two-run double and Wilson a RBI single to make it 6-1. Bates beat out an infield hit and Farrell followed with a two-run single, scoring Wilson and Bates, for an 8-1 PHS lead.

• Tiger tales: PHS evened its record at 8-8 with Thursday’s win, heading into Friday’s IVC Tournament with games vs. the host Ghosts and Peoria Christian. The Tigresses will face Mendota (10-11) on Wednesday in the St. Bede Regional.

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