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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Eagles explode for 10-run fifth en route to sectional victory

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

South Putnam catcher Jenny Thompson gets a high-five from her coach after blasting a two-run home run to left field Tuesday night. [Order this photo]
LIZTON -- There's a lot of unknown factors for South Putnam at the Tri-West softball sectional. Their side of the bracket was filled with teams the Eagles had not played this season. But if Tuesday was any indication, they're going to be just fine.

South Putnam used a 10-run fifth inning to defeat the host Tri-West Bruins 12-0 and will play Speedway tonight at 7 p.m.

"It's a great win," Eagles head coach Chris Jones said. "To come in and play the host here and get the nerves out of the way -- it was great team win. I tell you what; Brooke came ready to go tonight. Our defense came ready to go right behind her and then offensively we put the ball in play.

"We got some situations early and got a couple out at home, but we were aggressive and kept hitting the ball. Runs just started piling up," he added.

It was clear from the moment South Putnam took the field they came to play. The Eagles didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning and starting pitcher Brooke Boetjer faced just 16 batters for the game, fanning seven Bruins in the process.

The game began with a little controversy. Emily Dabkowski reached after Tri-West shortstop Taylor Baggett couldn't handle the ball. Dabkowski stole second and was moved to third by Jenny Thompson.

The next batter, Kelsey Whitaker, laid the ball in the infield, with Dabkowski racing to the plate. Dabkowski visibly slid past catcher Jessica O'Neal's tag, but the home plate umpire signaled her out, leaving the South Putnam faithful shaking their heads.

South Putnam put its first points on the board in the third inning when Whitaker hit a two run double to left field, scoring Dabkowski and Thompson.

But it was in the fifth inning when the Eagles showed why they are the No. 1 ranked team in Class 2A.

Dabkowski got things going with a triple to the right field fence and the Eagles were in business. Thompson came to the plate and blasted a monster shot to left field to plate herself and Dabkowski.

Whitaker hit a single, Brooke Boetjer hit a double and then Jenna Jones scored the duo with a double of her own to centerfield. But some of the most exciting moments for the Eagles were still to come.

With Jones and Megan Barnes on base, MaKenzie Trisler came to the plate a hit a bomb to the right field fence. Jones and Barnes scored as Trisler tore around the bases, heading for third. As she made it to third, the throw was mishandled and head coach Chris Jones sent his runner home to score.

After all was said and done, South Putnam sent 16 batters to the plate in the fifth, scoring 12 runs, with six extra base hits. Jones liked what he saw in the fifth inning and the way his team kept the pressure on and their production.

"We had a couple triples. Emily got a triple, Kenzie (Trisler) and Jenny hit a bomb out at left -- what a great hit," Jones said.

Boetjer quest for a perfect game was broken up in the bottom of the fifth when O'Neal hit a triple over Trisler in right field. Colleen Walker joined her on base with a single. Following a strikeout, the Eagles gave their crowd one final reason to stand a cheer.

South Putnam tried to pick off O'Neal at third, but Jones tossed the ball to Dabkowski at second to get Walker before she reach and then Dabkowski gunned down O'Neal before she could make it to the plate to end the game.

Trisler was 3-for-3 with a triple, three RBIs and a run scored, while Thompson was 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs. Dabkowski was 2-for-2 with a triple and an RBI, with Jones, Boetjer and Whitaker adding a double each.

Speedway beat Covenant Christian in the first game, and if his team plays like they did Tuesday, Jones likes their chances.

"We've got Speedway tomorrow and we'll enjoy this for the ride back and that's our focus," Jones said. "Our side of the bracket is full of teams we haven't played, so we have to bring our 'A' game.

"If we come ready to go I like what we can do if we come with the same focus and the same energy that we came with tonight, then hopefully we can have the outcome we want tomorrow," Jones added.

South Putnam will play Speedway tonight at 7 p.m., following the Cloverdale against Cascade game at 5 p.m.

At Tri-West

Softball Sectional

South Putnam 002 0 (10) -- 12 17 0

Tri-West 000 00 -- 0 2 5

WP -- Boetjer

LP -- Settlemoir

HR -- Thompson (SP)

3B -- Trisler (SP), Dabkowski (SP), O'Neal (TW)

2B -- Jones (SP), Boetjer (SP), Whitaker (SP)

Next game -- South Putnam will face Speedway tonight at 7 p.m. at Tri-West.