Softball: Bottom of order helps Portage cruise past CP
By Kevin O’Keefe Post-Tribune correspondent April 25, 2013 9:36PM
Updated: April 25, 2013 11:02PM
PORTAGE — Portage sent 17 batters to the plate and scored eight runs in the fourth and fifth innings to cruise to a 9-3 Duneland Conference victory over Crown Point on Thursday.
The Indians (10-3, 5-2 DAC) overcame a 2-0 deficit with a six-run fourth and added two more runs in the fifth to avenge a 2-1, eight-inning loss earlier this season to the Bulldogs. Most of the offensive damage was done by the Indians’ seventh, eighth and ninth hitters, who were a combined 4-for-10 with seven runs batted in. Jena Alaniz and Alexis Johnson had two RBIs each and Stephanie Upton was 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Upton had a two-run single in the fourth and drove in another run with a single in the fifth.
“I was very excited, very happy. I was just standing out there at second base saying ‘Yes!’ ” Upton said. “I knew I had to help my team and it was just kind of a domino effect.”
The Bulldogs (5-3, 4-2 DAC) had an unearned run in the second and a Rachael Honaker RBI single in the third and staked Bulldogs starter Siena Gyure to a 2-0 lead before the Indians offense took off.
“We’ve seen her (Gyure),” Indians coach Lisa Hayes said. “All the girls have played against her. She is a very good pitcher but we started timing her and making adjustments. We got some timely hitting from the seniors and some of the underclassmen.”
Heather Zengler scattered nine hits and three runs for the complete-game victory.
“Heather was sick earlier in the week,” Hayes said. “She is one of our senior captains and she is a very good ground ball pitcher. It was great to get Lauren Murray back; she gave us a great boost.”
Murray added an insurance run with a home run to straight-away center in the seventh inning and made a spectacular sliding catch in the bottom of the seventh in right field.
“Our girls did a nice job with the exception of two innings today,” Crown Point coach Ginger Britton said. “You can’t afford to have two bad innings against a team like Portage. She (Zengler) did a good job keeping us off balance and we couldn’t really put anything together against her.”