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Voyageur's Best Sports of 2003

McGregor softball

Bizarre events lead to first win
 
Gordon goes three for three and Troup makes a great catch
 
by John Grones  |  2003
 

Monday’s game between the McGregor Mercuries and Floodwood Polar Bears featured some bizarre plays that ultimately lead to the Mercs first win of the season. Lead by Kirsten Gordon and April Anderson, who combined for five hits, the Mercs won 6-5.

The Mercs got off to a bad start. Four walks and three passed balls lead to three runs without a hit for the Polar Bears. The Mercs meanwhile went three-up and three-down.

The Polar Bears threatened again in the second inning. After a lead-off walk, Amanda Maas speared a line drive, and stepped on first for a double play. Floodwood came back with a hit, and the next batter reached base after being hit with a pitch. Mercury pitcher, Briana Kruse, got the next batter to strike out, and end the rally.

McGregor picked up their first run in the bottom of the second. Kelsey Larson hit a single, followed by an infield hit by Kirsten Gordon. Kelsey would eventually score on a passed ball.

The Mercs came back with two more runs in the third inning. April Anderson and Robin Lake each walked. April scored on Briana Kruse’s base hit, and Robin scored on a fielder’s choice.

Floodwood threatened again in the fourth inning. An infield hit, a walk and a double steal, put runners on second and third, with two outs. Fortunately for the Mercs, Robin Lake hustled after a passed ball, threw to Briana covering home plate, and recorded the third out.

The Mercs, however, did not take advantage, and came up empty themselves in the bottom of the inning.

Both teams tacked on a run in the fifth inning. For Floodwood, Lacey Keil hit a single then advanced to third on a fielder’s choice. She scored on the next play when the batter hit a slow roller down the first base line. The umpire ruled that first baseman Amanda Maas hit the ball in fair territory, and caused it to go foul.

McGregor’s run started with an April Anderson double. She advanced to third on a fielder’s choice, and scored on a passed ball.

McGregor would escape another threat in the sixth inning by tagging another runner trying to steal home, and that set the stage for a bizarre finish.

The inning started with Kirsten Gordon’s third hit of the game, a solid single to right field. Alecia Bodway then set down a bunt on the third base line that caused a hurried throw. The throw sailed by first base, and both runners moved up. With runners on second and third, Floodwood pitcher Amanda Johnson got the first batter to pop up, and struck out the next.

But just when things appeared to have settled down for Floodwood, April Anderson hits a rocket to left center field. The two outfielders collide, April Anderson ends up on third base, and two runs score.
The Mercs strike out to end the inning.

The top of the seventh made the game even more interesting. Floodwood’s first batter reaches base on an error, and the second batter hits a triple. The Polar Bears are sitting with a runner on third with no outs.

In steps Amanda Johnson, who hit a deep liner to right center field, but Tiffany Troup makes a tremendous running catch and hustles the ball back in. Fortunately for the Mercs, the runner on third base was not tagging, and failed to score. Tiffany, who is new to the McGregor softball program, is in her first year of organized high school softball. “I thought I was going to fall,” she said. “It was a big surprise!”

It was a big catch, because the next batter grounded to the pitcher, and Amanda Maas made an excellent over-the shoulder grab to end the game at 6-5.

Two days later the Mercs hosted a tough Silver Bay Mariner team and came up short, losing 17-0. April Anderson continued to stay hot, going 3 for 3, with a double and a triple. She finished the week batting .889, with five doubles and two triples.

Silver Bay’s Kenzie Guzzo pitched a four-hit shut out that included nine strike outs. Heidi Carlson singled and scored four runs. The Mariners took advantage of nine McGregor errors.

The Mercs moved their record to 1-8, and will host the McGregor Tournament on May 10. The first game will begin at 9:00 a.m.

This article first appeared in the May 6, 2003 issue of the Voyageur Press.