The Albion 16 & under softball team concluded an impressive late-season run in grand style by placing 3rd in the Girls Fast Pitch 16-Under Class C State Tournament July 8-10 at Hastings.
Albion got off to a fast start, winning its first three games before running into a hot Todd’s Feed team in the semi-finals, then losing a one-run heartbreaker to Fairbury in the playback bracket final. The Albion 16-unders, who earned a first-round state bye with their previous 2nd place district finish, ended Class C tourney play with a 3-2 record.
Albion opened in Hastings with a hardfought 6-4 victory against Weeping Water, a first-round winner over Giltner.
The local 16-unders grabbed an early lead in the bottom of the first inning. Maddie Schiltmeyer and Shannon Stuhlmiller were hit by pitches and Maria Glidden followed with a two-run double. Kelsey Lee then singled in Glidden for a 3-0 advantage. Albion increased its lead to 6-1 in the fourth on Stuhlmiller’s RBI single and a run-scoring triple by Glidden.
After taking a 4-0 first-inning lead behind RBI hits by Schiltmeyer, Glidden and Miranda Ketteler, Albion fell behind as the Crush posted a six-run second.
Nelson bore down after that, allowing the Hastings squad just two more hits, and Albion began chipping away at the deficit. Albion claimed the victory when Stuhlmiller led off the sixth with a triple and scored on Glidden’s sac fly.
Albion advanced to the winner’s bracket semi-finals with another 6-4 victory, this time over Syracuse.
Syracuse grabbed a 3-1 first inning lead and stretched its advantage to 4-1 with a run in the top of the fifth before Albion’s bats got untracked.
Nelson led off the bottom of the fifth with a walk and scored after consecutive singles by Becca Reicks and Emily Anderson. Stuhlmiller drew a one-out walk and Schiltmeyer reached on a fielder’s choice. Glidden then cracked a two-run single and Lee followed with a two-run double to put Albion ahead 6-4.
A powerful Todd’s Feed team from Sutton broke open a close game with a four-run third inning and handed Albion its first state loss 12-2.
Todd’s used five hits, including a double and triple, to break a 1-1 tie in the third, then put the contest out of reach with six more hits and five runs in the fifth.
In a playback bracket final to determine who would face Todd’s Feed for the Class C title, Albion came up a run short in a taut eight-inning battle.
Terri Molt walked and scored in the first and Lee reached by error and came home on a sacrifice by Reicks in the second to give Albion an early 2-0 lead. Fairbury knotted the score in the third and Albion edged back in front 3-2 when Stuhlmiller doubled home Reicks in the fifth.
Molt singled and scored on two Fairbury errors to increase that lead to 4-2 in the top of the seventh, but Fairbury again tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the frame.
Opening extra innings with a runner at second base (by rule), Albion failed to score in the top of the eighth and Fairbury claimed the win with an RBI base hit in the bottom of the inning.
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