ARCANUM – The Arcanum Lady Trojans used a triple play to springboard to a tenth inning Friday night walk-off win over the visiting Coldwater Lady Cavaliers by a 4-3 score.
“The triple play is what got them excited and it showed at the plate,” said Arcanum coach Rick Stone. “They come up there and started smoking the ball, but until then we were lunging for the ball a little bit. We weren’t getting our bunts down, we weren’t executing tonight, but when you don’t execute and you still get the ‘W’ … we’ll take it.”
Arcanum plated three first inning runs to lead 3-0 after one and would not dent the plate again until the bottom of the tenth to earn a 1-run non-conference extra inning game.
“If somebody told me we were only going to score four runs I would have been like – no way,” Stone said. “We’re just not that way, but they did a nice job on us. Took us 10-innings to score four runs. We come out and scored three and then they kept us off balance at the plate.”
Three consecutive singles off the bats of Sydney Artz, Peyton Garbig and Gracie Garno had the bases loaded with no outs setting up a passed ball to score Artz with the game’s first run followed by a Kaylee Wilcox sacrifice fly scoring Garbig with the game’s second run.
The Lady Trojans used a Macey Hartman infield single to score Garno and give the home team a 3-0 advantage.
The Lady Cavaliers, a member of the Midwest Athletic Conference (MAC) made it a 3-1 game with their first of two home runs of the night in the top of the third and added a 2-run homer in the top of the fifth to knot the game at 3-3.
“The MAC dominate in basketball and volleyball and they are good softball players but you know you’re going to be playing against good athletes,” said Stone. “Their No. 9 hitter comes up and hits a curve ball and pulls it down the leftfield line for a home run. I was just like – you gotta be kidding me, but you tip your hat to the kid.”
“I tell my players, you can’t control the long ball,” Stone added. “Sometime some kid is going to come up – you’re not going to win every battle. She’s going to put the bat on the ball, it’s going to go and it happened, but other than the two long balls until that triple play was the only time we were in danger of letting them score again.”
Arcanum struggled at the plate after the opening inning going down in order in the third, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth while going scoreless in eight consecutive innings bringing the game to the tenth tied at 3-3.
Coldwater opened the top of the tenth win a single and a hit batsman to put runners on first and second setting up a rare perfectly executed triple play – a scorching liner to Hartman at third with Hartman throwing a bullet across the diamond to Camille Pohl at first who turned and ripped a perfect throw to Arcanum shortstop Gracie Garno covering second to get the Lady Trojans out of the inning and coming to the plate.
“I’ve seen one other one but that one there – I couldn’t believe how quickly we turned it,” said Stone. “She caught that line drive so quick. When she threw it over to first instead of going to second I was like – what are you doing and then Camille got rid of it so quick and got it over to Gracie at shortstop – it was a great play. It happened so fast I was kind of just shell shocked there for a minute.”
“Our defense is one of our strengths,” noted Stone. “We’re usually pretty solid. Tonight we didn’t make a lot of mistakes defensively but that play right there, I don’t think we will ever top that one.”
With the triple play bringing new life to the Lady Trojans bench, the Arcanum girls took advantage at the plate in the bottom of the inning.
Sam Hartzell ripped a 1-out double to deep center in the Lady Trojans half of the tenth with Coach Stone bringing Megan McCans in to pinch run for Hartzell. Artz followed with a walk putting runners on first and second with one out setting up a dramatic Garbig run scoring walk off single to left and keep the Lady Trojans perfect on the season.
“A great defensive triple play saved us and then good to see a freshman come in and shut them down there late, and the same freshman come up to the plate and hit the game winner,” said Coach Stone. “We were going through the motions. They woke up and got excited. They are teenagers. We don’t know what happened at school or stuff like that and then that triple play got them excited.”
“If you couldn’t get excited over that then you must have been asleep,” continued Stone. “That definitely woke them up and we got the bats going. We hit the ball well that inning and Payton Garbig was able to come up and smoked that ball left field. Megan, that scored the runner there, she’s hurt so I told her all she could do today was run and it was killing her not getting in the game. She came in at the right time – got her in at the right time and she can flat run and it worked out.”
Coldwater had 14-hits on the day while playing error free ball. Arcanum accounted for 9-hits and 1-error.
Garbig went 2-5 with a RBI and a run scored. Artz was 2-4 with a walk and a run. Camille Pole went 2-4, Macey Hartman was 1-4 with a RBI, Garno was 1-4 with a run, Hartzell went 1-4 and Wilcox had a RBI.
Macy Skelton pitched four innings allowing 8-hits, 3- strikeouts, 1-run and no walks. Elle Fout tossed two innings giving up 2-hits, 2-runs and striking out 2-batters. Garbig picked up the win in relief pitching the final four innings giving up 4-hits, striking out 4-Cavaliers while not allowing a run.
“We have great support from our fans,” Stone said following the game. “They are always supportive of us. Our fans are always behind us. They keep the girls going. Anything we need they are there for us and I really appreciate them and their support.”