It was a rollercoaster game that needed some extra time on the ride before a winner could be declared on a day that didn’t remind anyone of the amusement park.
Playing under gray clouds and in between snowflakes, the Pioneer softball team rallied with three runs in the sixth inning to tie the game with host Skyline. But the Eagles kept the Pioneers off the board in the top of the eighth and scored without a hit in the bottom of the inning to win the extra-inning game 8-7.
“It was a well-played, back and forth game,” said Skyline Coach Martha Stange. “Pioneer is loaded and they have a lot of hitters throughout their lineup. It was a great game despite the weather.”
The game went to extra innings using international rules where each team starts an inning with a runner at second base.
In the top of the eighth, Pioneer had first and third with no outs but somehow Skyline pitcher Mayah Alam got her team out of the inning unscathed. After a strikeout, she walked a Pioneer batter to load the bases. The Eagles then got a force out at the plate on a ground ball and Alam picked up another strikeout for the final out.
In the bottom of the inning, Megan Rood took second base. The Eagles were attempting to bunt her over to third base when Rood took off on a steal. The throw to third went into left field and Rood raced home for the winning run.
The Eagles scored five runs in the first inning, taking advantage of some walks and timely hits. They led 6-0 when Pioneer scored two in the bottom of the third and fourth innings to make it 7-4.
In the sixth, Ella Roberts tripled. Then down two runs with two outs, Franny Schulenberg and Sarina Zajchowski had back-to-back doubles to tie the game at 7-7.
Rood led the Skyline offense with three hits and two RBI. Madison Westhoven had two hits and scored a run. Gabby Toth had a hit and a walk and Neva Siers had two RBI in the win.
Schulenberg and Mimi Maixner each had two hits and Alina Mankowski had a triple in the fourth inning for Pioneer.
Zajchowski pitched for the Pioneers and recorded 10 strikeouts. Alam also had 10 strikeouts for the Eagles.
The two teams started the second game of the doubleheader until the weather shut it down in the fourth inning with Pioneer leading 4-3.