After losing their second game in the district tournament at Battle Creek June 18-19, Albion’s 16 & under softball team rebounded to win three straight, posting an overall 4-2 record and placing 2nd in the event. Albion qualified for the Class C state tournament at Hastings July 8-10.
The Albion squad then continued a busy schedule by splitting contests against David City and Creighton June 22-23.
Albion opened district play by blanking Emerson 6-0. Pitcher Gina Nelson shut down the Emerson bats, allowing just three hits while striking out six. The 16-unders got all the runs they would need in the first inning, taking a 3-0 lead as Maria Glidden and Kelsey Lee smacked back-to-back doubles.
Albion ran into a tough O’Neill Shamrocks team in its second game and dropped a 10-2 decision in five innings. Albion got runs by Shannon Stuhlmiller and Glidden in the third to trim a 3-0 deficit to one run, but O’Neill broke the contest open with a seven-run fourth inning.
Albion bounced back in a big way in losers bracket play, thumping the Laurel Bears 12-0 in a four-inning contest. Nelson again shined on the mound, holding Laurel hitless and fanning four batters. Albion batters took advantage of control problems by Bears’ pitching, using six walks and two batters hit-by-pitch, along with a Laurel error, to take an 8-0 first-inning lead.
The local 16-unders stayed alive in the tourney with a 9-2 victory over Creighton. Albion grabbed a 3-0 lead in the opening frame as Terri Molt, Maddie Schiltmeyer and Glidden all singled and scored. Schiltmeyer’s RBI double and a run-scoring single by Lee keyed a three-run fifth to give Albion a 6-2 advantage.
Nelson twirled another gem in the following game as Albion knocked off Pender 8-0. Nelson scattered four hits over five innings and struck out four. Albion’s tourney run finally ended with it’s second loss, again to the O’Neill Shamrocks, 11-6. Albion knotted the score at 6-6 in the fifth as Stuhlmiller drew a bases-loaded walk and Glidden rapped a three-run double, but O’Neill scored a pair in the sixth and three in the seventh while allowing just one Albion baserunner in the final two innings.
The Albion 16-unders continued their season June 22 with an exciting 7-6 victory over visiting David City. In a seesaw contest, Albion took a 4-3 lead in the second inning with runs by Lee, Mallory Fangman and Anderson and edged back in front 6-5 as Glidden and Lee scored in the bottom of the third. David City tied the score in the fifth, but Stuhlmiller doubled and came around to score in the bottom of the inning to give Albion the win. Nelson got the victory with three innings in relief of Schiltmeyer.
Albion traveled to Creighton June 23 and dropped an 8-5 decision. Albion scored its runs early, getting an RBI double by Lee to take a 2-0 first-inning edge and leading 5-3 as Anderson’s RBI single keyed a three-run third. Creighton rallied in the fifth, scoring five runs with four hits and an Albion error, then held the visiting 16-unders scoreless in the final two frames to secure the win.