Kolacny's strong pitching performance gives Maidens game one win
By Michael Brooks
Sometimes in sports, an athlete can do everything correctly and still fail. In football, a defensive back can knock a pass away from an intended receiver only to have the ball still land in an opponents hands. In baseball, a hitter can hit the ball perfectly and it still results in an out. The Ganado Maidens softball team had a few plays where this exact thing happened, but they still were able to dominate Three Rivers in a 10-0 game one victory
Maidens pitcher Macy Kolacny tossed a one hit, 10 strike-out gem, but with a little luck, she could have had a no-hitter. On Three Rivers lone hit, third baseman Chloe Gresham was creeping toward the plate as the batter squared to bunt. At the last minute the batter pulled the bunt back and swung, placing the ball just out of reach of Gresham, who was playing her position exactly as she should have been in that situation. The ball fell into a dead zone, where Gresham would have easily been able to make a play if she was playing her normal depth, but by the time shortstop Madi Weempe got to the ball, the runner was safe on first.
Jaxyn Bures also ran into bad luck, squaring up the ball perfectly with a runner on base, only to have the hard hit line-drive go straight to the fielder. Bures did get the big hit later in the game.
Kolacny began the game mowing down the hitters, retiring the first nine before the fluke hit.
On the Maidens side, lead off hitter Weempe got things rolling with a single. She then stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a two out Bella Adrian single.
The game moved on to the bottom of the third when the Maidens grabbed some more two out magic. Ja’Lai foster singled and Kolacny followed with an RBI double to extend the Maidens lead to 2-0.
Ganado had been making solid contact all day, but in the bottom of the fifth, those hits started falling in. Gresham opened with a line drive single and Bures put down a perfect sacrifice bunt. Gresham moved to third on a passed ball and Cosmo Kramer came up with a line-drive RBI single. Faith Palacios walked and Weempe continued her strong day for the Maidens as she came up with a two-out, two-strike double that brought in two runs and extended the Maidens lead to 5-0 heading into the fifth inning.
“My mindset was kind of different (in this at-bat) because the previous at-bat I struck out,” Weempe said. “I was just really trying to focus on what I did wrong, what the pitcher was throwing, and really toeing the line to make sure I got my hands out there.”
In the fifth inning, the Maidens had two runners on base with two outs, but this time the inning ended strangely when a runner was called out for leaving the base early to end the inning.
Three Rivers picked up their second base runner of the game when Kolacny issued a walk. The runner stole second and wound up at third on a passed ball. Maidens catcher Foster attempted to pick the runner off at third, but the ball got away from Gresham. The runner saw the ball scoot away and headed for home, but the ball was quickly recovered, relayed to Foster, and then Foster returned the ball to third and the runner was tagged out, ending the only threat Three Rivers had all game.
In the sixth inning, the Maiden's offense really came to life. Weempe singled and Foster walked. Kolacny followed with a hit between the third baseman and shortstop. The third baseman dove for the ball and it slipped away allowing all three runners to reach base safely. With the play happing right in front of Weempe, who was running to third, she noticed nobody was covering home plate and she never slowed, scoring another Maidens run as Foster and Kolacny moved up to second and third.
“I would’ve went anyway,” Weempe said with a smile about her coach waving her on as she approached third. “On the bases, I like to stay aggressive and it really helps us get into good situations.”
Adrian walked and Gresham followed with an RBI single and a second run scored when the ball was thrown away.
Bures followed with another hard-hit ball, but this time the center fielder couldn’t get it, two runs were scored and the game ended via run rule with the 10-0 victory.
“I’ve been making contact but not hitting the ball real well,” Bures said. “Luckily my teammates have been pulling through for me, so it felt good to finally get a solid hit and come through in the end. The first one felt really solid and the last one felt solid too.”
Bures missed a couple of weeks after she was hit in the head by a foul ball during a scrimmage at the beginning of the season, so it took her some time to catch up to the other players.
“I started out with a head injury and now I’m finally getting back into the groove. It feels really good to be back.”
The Indians are traveling to Three Rivers at 6 pm today for game two. A win today would move Ganado to round three.
“We attacked good pitches, and stuff didn’t start falling until the fourth inning,” Maidens head coach Jordin Jones said. “In game two we just need too the same. They have a turf field but the approach is still the same. They have one more pitcher who throws about the same as this pitcher.”