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High Schools

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Lions’ fortunes shift with wind

– Just as the wind started to kick up the dust and blow around the field, the Leo softball team went to work.

The Lions scored five times in the sixth inning to pull away from Garrett for a 7-3 win Tuesday.

“That storm was blowing in, and it seemed like the winds were changing for us,” Leo coach Ben Shappell said.

Tied at 2, Class 3A No. 13 Leo (14-1, 2-0 ACAC) got the five runs just as the weather turned for the worse, with wind, a little rain and sirens causing confusion among players and coaches and the fans to leave the bleachers and seek temporary cover. The weather calmed, and play was never halted.

“That inning was real big,” Shappell said of the sixth. “It was timely hitting, and we hit the ball hard to make them make plays. They didn’t make them that inning, and we took advantage.”

Garrett used a couple of pitchers in the sixth with Britmarie Yarian replacing starter Macy Sturges.

“We were right there, but we just found a way (to lose),” Garrett coach Scott Bishop said.

Class 3A No. 24 Garrett (7-5, 0-2) scored a run in the sixth to close within 7-3. In the seventh, the Railroaders had two runners on base, but Brooke Imel snared a line drive and threw to second base for a double play to end the game.

Imel also had a diving catch in the sixth to end a Railroaders’ rally.

“Brooke Imel did just a great job in right field,” Shappell said. “We were throwing a lot of balls outside, and we knew a lot of balls were going to go to right field. Brook made some excellent plays.

“It was great to see her out there because her natural position is not outfield. She started at shortstop all last year for us. She is also a pitcher and first baseman, so outfield is like her third or fourth spot.”

After giving up a couple of early runs, Leo junior pitcher Lindsey Bowers settled down. She also added an RBI single in the sixth to get things going for the Lions.

“I have always been told to not show emotion out there so the whole team stays up,” Bowers said. “That’s what I was trying to do so that way nobody got down and stay positive the whole time.

“(The big sixth inning) made us more confident and helped us stay positive. When we were tied, we were a little anxious and not excited.”

The Railroaders tied the score at 2 in the second on Rachel DePew’s RBI single.

“I don’t think they understand how good they can be,” Bishop said of his team. “We are hitting good enough to win, and our pitching is what it is. That doesn’t include a lot of strikeouts, but it doesn’t include a lot of walks. Our physical errors are becoming bothersome, but it is the mental part; … we had four plays where we didn’t know what the heck to do with the ball in situational play. That’s not a good sign, and that is a reflection on the coach.”

gjones@jg.net

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