SENECA — By virtue of three straight wins at a round robin tournament in Seneca, the St. Bede Lady Bruins were declared champions on Saturday afternoon. Morris went 2-1 at the event and Seneca 1-3 while Bloomington Central Catholic was 0-3.
The Redskins dropped an 8-3 decision to the champs. Morris had previously defeated Seneca 3-0 and later went on to defeat BCC 10-3. St. Bede beat BCC 4-2 and the Lady Irish 11-1. Seneca's lone win came against BCC 8-2.
The Redskins scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning with the big hit coming off the bat of third baseman Lauren Severson.
"I wanted a base hit and to get one base. To make contact there," Severson said.
Severson, winning pitcher Morgan Akre, Leah Lines, Kellen Bernickus, Erica Gulandi, Paige Cordrey and Kelly Kolotka had one hit each against losing pitcher Nicole Pihl.
"We had one bad defensive inning, giving Morris three unearned runs, which was disappointing," Seneca coach Dan Stecken said. "Then we simply didn't hit. Akre kept us off balance with her movement and pitched a nice game."
Akre allowed four hits and two walks while striking out six.
"You can't expect to win many games not hitting and making three errors in one inning," Stecken said.
Madi Shanks, Miranda Hougas, Pihl and Allison Coughlin had hits for Seneca.
Pihl gave up seven hits while walking none and striking out seven.
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Akre, Laney Torkelson, Bernickus and Taya Torkelson had hits against the Bruins.
"A baserunning error early in the game led to an inning of defensive errors," Morris coach Jen Lowery said. "We were making contact, but were unable to overcome the run deficit due to errors."
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Gualandi was the winning pitcher for the Redskins. She allowed just four hits and two earned runs while striking out three.
"She threw a great game," Lowery said. "She hit all her spots."
Tori Hanford led Morris at the plate with a 3 for 4 showing while Laney Torkelson was 2 for 2, Sydney Corrigan 2 for 3 and Maddy Feeney had two RBI.
"The girls made solid contact at the plate and were smart on the bases," Lowery said.
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The Irish fell behind 1-0 in he second inning but then battled back with a run in the fourth and a big five-run fifth to take control.
"We started the game slowly, but then came alive," Stecken said.
Hougas had a key two out, two-RBI single in the fifth to deliver the key hit in the stretch. Coley Baker and Coughlin also had RBI hits in that span. Sara Radtke was 2 for 4 with two runs scored and Chelsie McCormick was 2 for 3 with an RBI. Pihl was also 2 for 3.
Pihl went the first four innings before giving way to Kayla Haines who finished it.
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Radtke had two of Seneca's four hits in the game. Pihl took the loss on the slab. She went just three innings before giving way to Tera Coughlin and Haines.
"Not much to say about this game, other than we ran out of pitching in the third game of the day," Stecken said. "Credit the ladies from St. Bede for really hitting the ball in this game."
Stecken said that the game was a bit of a letdown.
"We came out a little flat in this game and they made us pay. Hopefully it's a learning experience for us," he said. "St. Bede seemed amped to play us as we have developed a nice rivalry. Last season we defeated them in the regional championship and the year prior, they defeated us. It was disappointing that our intensity level did not match theirs."