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Softball: Hanover, Munster, Lowell, CP win Twin Lake Invitational openers

TwLake Softball tournament.  Crown Point pither MirandElish.  By Jerry Schultheiss

Twin Lake Softball tournament. Crown Point pither Miranda Elish. By Jerry Schultheiss

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Updated: May 4, 2013 12:14AM



MONTICELLO — It’s been at least 14 years since Hanover Central has been in the pool on the No. 1 field at the 16-team Twin Lakes Softball Invitational.

At least that’s what coach Larry McMillen’s fading memory recalls. But his Wildcats made it a memorable return to the main field with a 7-2 victory over Maconaquah in the first game of pool play on Friday night.

Next up is a return to the same field less than 11 hours after the end of the win since games were delayed more than an hour because of rain and lightning.

Despite the overwhelmingly favorable outcome, McMillen wasn’t happy with many aspects of his team’s play.

“We stunk up the field,” he said with a wry smile. “We had 10 strikeouts against that pitcher, swinging at some high pitches. That’s unacceptable. We need to hit better.”

What kept the Wildcats in the contest was pitcher Ashley Yoways, who struck out 15 in the complete game while giving up no earned runs — both of Maconaquah’s runs were due to three errors in the second inning. She also reached base four times with three singles and a run scored.

Melissa Balkema also reached base four times with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored.

Lowell (9-8) needed extra time to settle its first pool play game, edging Benton Central 2-1 with the international tiebreaker used.

And like McMillen, Devils coach Pete Iussig wasn’t completely happy.

“Brandi (Flaverty) keeps us in games,” he said about his No. 1 starting pitcher. “We’re struggling to hit the ball. We just can’t put two or three hits together when we need them.”

Munster also won its first game in another pool, edging Harrison 4-2, thanks to a two-run double by senior Briana Zunica in the sixth inning. Carly Murphy pitched well again for the Mustangs, who are looking for their second Twin Lakes title.

“If you ask her, she’d probably say it wasn’t her best effort,” Munster coach Beth Thornburg said. “But she pitched well enough for us to win.”

Crown Point also advanced, edging Andrean 4-3 in a back-and-forth game. The 59ers took a 1-0 lead on a solo home run by Morghyn Neal in the second inning, but the Bulldogs took the lead in the top of the sixth on a RBI double by Ali Rock and a run-scoring single by Siena Gyure. They added two more runs on a couple Andrean errors. The 59ers scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh after two outs, but a groundout to first base ended the rally.

The two teams were supposed to face off in the Crown Point Invitational a couple weeks ago, but it was rained out. Rescheduling efforts have proved futile, so it was fitting they faced in the first round of this tournament.

“Yeah, we were supposed to play, but I guess this serves as a make-up game,” CP coach Ginger Britton said. “We probably won’t have a chance to play anyway.”

Play will continue on Saturday morning with four region teams 1-0 in their four-team pools. Each pool winner advances to the afternoon semifinals.



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