SCHLARMAN — The Armstrong-Potomac Trojans softball game against the Schlarman Hilltoppers was a battle. By the end of the game, if you were to look at the final score, it seemed like a game of football.
The Trojans (6-13) came out top 22-20 last Wednesday.
Before the game, Armstrong-Potomac coach Gary Duden said that he knew it was going to be a “hitters” day when his team got onto the field because of the high wind conditions.
“I told the girls before the game started that I think 20 runs might be what we need to win this game,” Duden said. “They looked at me kind of funny. Of course it actually took 22 to win.”
Both teams tied at 15 after sixth
After back-and-forth in lead changes in six innings, both teams were tied at 15 going into the seventh.
The Trojans got a walk and a single to put runners on with one out. Natalie Schulter drove in a run with a double to give the Trojans a one-run lead. The next batter, Sam Kelsch, drove in two more runs on a single to make it 18-15. Then Denley Heller hit a two-run home run to left field.
“Denley Heller had a big day,” Duden said. “She went two for three with that home run. She scored five times and stole two bases. She was on base a ton.”
The homerun was followed by a single made by Jordyn Dillman. Joei Younger then hit an inside the park home run on a fly ball to center field to give the Trojans a 22-15 lead.
Before his team took the field on defense in the bottom of the seventh, Duden had a message for his team.
“I just said give me everything you got,” Duden said. “I told my infield you have to keep the ball in front of you and not to worry too much if a girl gets on base. They have to score a lot of runs for anything to really affect us.”
Hilltoppers fight back in last at bat
The Hilltoppers did not go down easy with their last batting attempt. Duden would have to replace Kelsch with his reliever, Heller, after the Hilltoppers scored a run on a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded to cut the lead 22-16.
Heller got the first out by a strikeout to get two outs and was just one out away for a victory.
The next batter, Emma Wilkins, singled to score two runs for the Hilltoppers to cut the lead to four. The next batter, Cece Damilano, walked and then Ana Fitzgerald doubled to score Wilkins. Then Taylor Fowler reached on an infield error which scored another run for the Hilltoppers who were within two.
The Trojans finally got the third out after Elizabeth Stimac hit a ground ball right to Heller who threw it to first baseman, Julia Mulvaney, giving the Trojans the win.
After the game, Duden told his team not to worry about allowing 20 runs considering the unusual field conditions on that day.
“I was just glad they got the win,” Duden said. “We needed the win. They hung in there and they fought back for the win. They got it and I was proud of them.”
Trojans 3-4 in conference
The Trojans win was an important one as the team battled to comeback after being down 11-8 in the fifth and were on the road, playing in tough field conditions. The win gives the Trojans a 3-4 record in conference play as well.
“I felt like the girls got some confidence by being able to come back when you are down on the road,” Duden said. “Just to know that if you put the ball in play you have the chance to win anytime.”
Next game for the Trojans
The Trojans will go on the road to take on the Westville Tigers at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Contact Ben Theobald at firstname.lastname@example.org