WOODWARD — A two-run sixth inning lifted Woodward-Granger to a 5-4 win over a gritty Earlham squad in WCC softball Monday.
Earlham entered the game just 2-8 overall and 0-3 in league play, but one of those wins was a 9-4 upset of Class 1A No. 4 Alburnett. The Cardinals used two walks, two Hawk errors, a single and a double to plate four runs in the top of the fifth and grab a 4-3 lead over the hosts, who had appeared to be in control.
W-G (7-4, 4-0) had scored twice in their first at-bat, with Dalaney Bice singling and courtesy runner Kayley Dresback scoring on Miranda Aunspach’s triple. Aunspach scored later in the frame on a ground out.
The hosts added another run in the second for a 3-0 advantage, which appeared to be enough for Bice, who was sailing along in the ring.
The wheels could have come off for the home team after the wild top of the fifth, but the Hawks responded in the sixth to surge back into the lead and then hold on for the victory.
With the bases loaded and two out, Bree Lesch faced an 0-2 count and fouled off four pitches before taking a ball. She then laced a hard-hit shot that eluded the Cardinal second baseman and sent home both Kaycee and Carli Major with the tying and go-ahead runs.
Bice retired the guests in order in the seventh to shut the door on the win. She allowed three hits and four runs — one earned — in seven innings off the rubber. The senior walked two batters and hit another while finishing with 10 strikeouts.
“Good teams find a way to come back and win games after being shell-shocked like we were tonight,” W-G head coach Noah Bean said. “I am proud of the way we collected ourselves, stayed calm and came back to take the lead. We didn’t let the mistakes bother us and did a nice job of closing out the last two innings.”
Lesch, Carli Major and Maggi Mallon had singles, with Bice tallying two base hits. Aunspach had the aforementioned triple, with Meagan Bandstra hitting her seventh double of the season, which is tied for the statewide best in Class 2A.
Dresback, Aunspach, Katelyn Bandstra and the Major sisters scored the five runs for the Hawks.
W-G is at Guthrie Center tonight and will be off Wednesday and Thursday before hosting the two-day W-G Classic Friday and Saturday.
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