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Softball: Sandwich splits wild doubleheader with Ottawa Marquette

SANDWICH — Saturday's doubleheader between Sandwich and Marquette resulted in two scintillating one-run games in Sandwich.

In the first game, errors proved costly for both clubs as each team committed five miscues. But Marquette's handful of gaffes hurt just a bit more than those of Sandwich in the Indians' 6-5 win.

The Crusaders were seemingly in command, leading 5-0 after five innings. But Marquette booted the ball five times in the last two inni gs, as Sandwich scored six unearned runs— five in the sixth and one in the seventh — to rally for a come-from-behind victory.

"We strung a bunch of hits together in the last two innings when we needed them the most," Sandwich coach Mattie McGuire. "I was very proud of the girls for really hanging in there and earning a huge win against a very good team."

Marquette (2-2) jumped on Sandwich winning pitcher Grace Schmidt (7 IP, 5 R, 1 ER, 8 H, 8 K, 1 BB) right off the get-go as Aubrey McCallum led off the bottom of the first with an inside-the-park home run.

They'd add a pair of unearned runs in the third after two Lady Indians errors, as well as a couple more unearned runs in the fifth.

That's where the wheels fell off defensively for the Lady Cru, and Sandwich kicked things into high gear for its winning push off hard-luck Marquette losing hurler Makenna Tkach (7 IP, 6 R, 0 ER, 9 H, 11 K, 0 BB). Three Marquette errors in the top of the sixth led to a pair of unearned runs followed by another miscue that loaded the bases with two out and the Lady Cru up 5-2.

There, Sarah McHale (2-for-3) plastered a Tkach offering for a three-run triple to left-center that tied the score 5-5 with an inning and a half to play.

The Indians (2-1) added the game winner in the top of the seventh after speedy No. 2-hitter Jordyn Thulin (2-for-4) reached base on a one-out infield single. She eventually trotted home after two more Marquette errors before Schmidt closed out the triumph with two of her eight strikeouts to seal the rally.

"I had to take a couple of bases off their errors with some aggressive running in order to give us the lead," Thulin said. "Then Grace just shut them down, and we really pulled off a great comeback."

In the second game the Crusaders piled on Sandwich starting pitcher Josie Gonzalez and reliever Grace Donahue to take a 9-4 lead after four innings of play, and held on for a 9-8 win.

This time Marquette (3-2) withstood another huge late-game rally by Sandwich (2-2) to sweat out the victory. Mallory Martini started and got the win in the circle, while Makenna Tkach came on midway throughout the contest in relief to earn a hard-fought, three-quality-inning save by striking out the final batter with the tying run at third base.

Sandwich went up 1-0 in the top of the first after Grace Schmidt (3-for-4) tripled and scored on Ava Knepper's RBI infield single. But Marquette quickly countered with four in the bottom of the frame to lead 4-1.

The Indians rallied for three in the top of the second to tie the score at 4-4 after an RBI double from Sydnee Estremera, a Marquette error and a run-scoring single from Schmidt.

The Lady Indians added three more in the top of the seventh after an RBI triple from Delphey and run-scoring at bats from Paige Sartori and Maddie Card that placed the score at 9-8 with Sartori standing at third and the tying run looming. But Makenna Tkach got the final out of the game with her 18th strikeout of the day.

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