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Bringing the thunder

Published: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 3:18 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 3:22 p.m. CDT
Caption
(BCR photo/Dan Dwyer)
Abbey Azarskis connects for a two-run hit for the Lady Devils in the bottom of the sixth inning to give Hall a 3-1 lead. The game was called moments later by rain. The Lady Devils traveled to Kewanee Wednesday.

SPRING VALLEY — The severe thunderstorm that swept through the area Monday held off just long enough for the Hall Lady Red Devils to stage a sixth-inning comeback as they scored three runs en route to a 3-1 victory over the Orion Chargers in Spring Valley.

Trailing 1-0 for the entire game after Orion pushed a run across the plate in the first Hall’s offense livened up in the sixth inning as third baseman Rena Barroso and center fielder Deidra Whightsil each reached base safely.

Second baseman Elle Herrmann came through in the clutch, lacing a hit into center field for a double to score third baseman Rena Barroso.

As the thunder began to rumble, third baseman Abbey Azarskis stepped to the plate and shined with runners in scoring position. She turned on the offering from Orion pitcher India Price and found the grass in shallow right center, allowing center Deidra Whightsil and Elle Herrmann to cross the plate.

Azarskis’s two-run RBI single was the last official hit of the game as the severe storm rolled across the area, dumping water and hail on the diamond and forcing a stoppage of the official length game just after play had started in the top of the seventh.

“We got key hits when we needed them from our 5 and 6 hitters Elle got a big hit to tie the game up and then Abbey got a real big hit to score the two runs,” Hall coach Pete Kasperski said. “It just makes a huge difference when you’re hitting the ball and putting the ball in play.”

Starting pitcher Adriana Pikula found herself in a couple of tight spots after giving up an unearned run in the first inning but managed to hit her spots and get out of jams including a bases loaded one-out third inning.

“AP pitched well even though she had a few walks, hit two batters and had the unearned run in the first inning she was around the strike zone and pitched great when we needed her to,” Kasperski said.

After loading the bases, Pikula retired the final two batters of the inning including striking out designated hitter Madi Weiss on a 3-2 pitch to end the threat.

Pikula finished with seven strikeouts while spreading out five hits over six innings of work.

“If we can keep it close, we always have a chance. With the three seniors that have been with me for four years and the younger Herrmann, Elle, and Azarskis have been with me for three years so they way they go so does our team. When they hit the ball and put the ball in play, we can be a really good team,” Kasperski said.

Elle Herrmann and Azarskis led the Lady Red Devils offensively as Herrmann was 2-3 with two doubles and an RBI and Azarskis was 2-3 with two singles and two RBI.

“That’s a big win for us even though they’re a young team,” Kasperski said. “They beat us the first time up there (Orion) 12-7 so that helps our confidence out, we’re starting to play a little better and that’s the key for us.”

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