By RON PRESTON
The Abilene Cowgirls softball team evened their record to 2-2 with a split of a double header against Rock Creek in Abilene Tuesday night.
Rock Creek came into the night with a 0-2 record after losing to Wamego last week.
In the first game, Rock Creek jumped out to an early 6-0 lead off Cowgirl pitcher Aldyn Wildey in the first three innings. Three of the six runs were unearned as runners were aboard due to some early shaky defense by the Cowgirls.
Wildey relaxed, the defense began to play solid and the offense almost came back to be able to take game one. However, the Cowgirls fell just short losing 9-8 to the Lady Vikings from Lindsborg.
“Had we eliminated the first six runs, I believe at least two or three of those were off errors, just eliminate those and we had the game won,” said Cowgirl Coach LouAna Koochel.
“The team showed a lot of heart and that was good to see,” added coach Koochel.
The Cowgirls made a charging come back by scoring four runs in the third inning and added one in the fifth and two in the sixth to tie the game at seven.
Rock Creek scored two runs in the top of the seventh to take a 9-7 lead.
Abilene had their chance in the bottom of the sixth and the bottom of the seventh to put the game away, but the ball just didn’t bounce their way.
“Timely hitting and very good base running was key to Abilene’s comeback attempt in the first game,” coach Koochel said.
The Cowgirls had the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the seventh but were only able to score a single run because of a suddenly stingy Rock Creek defense and a game ending strikeout.
It was the battle of the bats in game one as the Cowgirls actually out hit the Lady Vikings 12-8 but just fell short at the end of the game.
Wildey struck out five and walked three while allowing seven earned runs in her seven innings of work.
Offensively for the Cowgirls, Shelby Mascareno went three-for-four driving in two runs and scoring one while Michaela Olberding went three-for-four and scoring two runs, Shay Hoekman went two-for-four and scored a couple of runs, and Kiley Crider had a two-for-six game while driving in two runs in the first contest.
Wildey would also pitch game two for the Cowgirls.
“Aldyn pitched both games for us and did a great job,” coach Koochel said.
In game two Wildey gave up four hits, walked two batters while striking out eight Rock Creek hitters as the Cowgirls rallied in the bottom of the seventh for a 6-5 victory.
Rock Creek took a one run lead in the first inning on an unearned run.
Abilene would answer in their half of the second on hits by Mascareno and Jenna Klein to tie the game at 1-1.
Rock Creek would take the lead 3-1 in the third inning only to have the Cowgirls tie the game at 3-3 with two runs off three hits in their half of the fifth.
The Lady Vikings got some momentum and seemed to put the game away in the top of the seventh when they scored two runs on two hits and a Cowgirl error to take a 5-3 lead heading to the home half of the seventh.
The Cowgirls gathered in front of their dugout to encourage everyone to reach down for a little extra effort and it seemed to work as Carly Gassman led off the inning with a single, followed by a double from Mascareno and infield hit by Wildey to load the bases.
Gassman would score off an infield bouncer by Bree Lake and Mascareno and Sarah Stout, running for Wildey, would score on a fielder’s choice and an error to win the game for the Cowgirls.
Klein went two-for-three with a run driven in for the Cowgirls in the second game and Sydney Hocker went one-for-four with two runs batted in aide in the victory for the Cowgirls.
“So nice for the comeback win in the second game,” said coach Koochel following the game.
“We strung some hits together and that’s what we really needed to get the win,” she concluded.
Wildey evened her pitching record to 2-2 as she has pitched all four Cowgirl games so far.
Next action for the Cowgirls will be against Southeast of Saline on Friday.
Rock Cr. (1-2) 2 3 1 0 1 0 2– 9 8 2
Abilene (1-2) 0 0 4 0 1 2 1 – 8 12 2
WP: Campbell LP: Wildey (1-2)
Rock Cr. (2-2) 1 0 2 0 0 0 2 – 5 4 3
Abilene (2-2) 0 1 0 2 0 0 3 – 6 7 3
WP: Wildey (2-2) LP: Campbell