Fort Madison’s rally against Class 3A No. 5 Solon comes up short in second game
GOOSE LAKE – Fort Madison staged a three-inning rally and almost knocked off Class 3A No. 5 Solon at the annual Northeast Tournament in Goose Lake, Iowa Saturday.
The Lady Spartans jumped out to a 7-2 lead after two innings off starter Neeley Rehm.
Rehm hit the first batter and then a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt brought the first run around. A couple singles and an error later, Solon was already up 3-0 before a ground out ended the first.
Fort Madison responded with one in the bottom half and then gave up four more in the top of the second with two outs. Fort Madison added two more errors in the frame and Rehm gave up a double and two singles to make it 7-1 headed into the bottom of the second, where the Hounds would add another run on three straight singles with two outs.
Rehm would get Solon 1-2-3 in the top of the third. Fort Madison would put a runner on in the bottom half, but a double play on a line out to third would end the inning.
Both teams would get two runs in the fourth for a 9-4 contest. Fort Madison would get a 2-run single from Kylee Cashman on a liner to center scoring Emily Steffensmeier and Allyson Helmick.
Rehm would get another clean inning in the top of the fifth and then Erika Kruse would hit a solo homer with one out in the bottom half to cut the lead to 9-5. Fort Madison would load the bases again with two outs on singles by Taylor Johnson and Helmick. Steffensmeier would work a walk, but a ground out to first left the bases full.
Solon would add an insurance run in the top of the sixth to make it 10-5, and Fort Madison would rally in the bottom half with three runs.
Logan Johnson singled with one out and Lexi Whaley laced a double to left scoring Johnson. Kruse followed with a fielder’s choice when Solon tried to get Whaley at third on the grounder but she was called safe. Lauryn Helmick then popped out in the infield for the second out.
Taylor Johnson singled again to center scoring Whaley and Elle Ruble courtesy running for Kruse. Solon would bring in a new pitcher to try and end things and the strategy worked when Allyson Helmick flied out on the first pitch to end the rally and the game.
Steffensmeier, Cashman, Rehm, Logan Johnson, Whaley, Taylor Johnson and Allyson Helmick all had multiple hits as Fort Madison racked up 15 total. Cashman and Kruse each had two RBIs for the Lady Hounds.
Rehm’s line was 10 runs, just one earned, on 11 hits and five strikeouts. The Lady Hounds committed seven errors in the contest leading to nine of Spartans runs.
A nine-run 4th inning told the story in the opener as Fort Madison rolled Bellevue 15-3, despite trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the third.
The Hounds took advantage of three walks and four hit batters in the inning to pile up the nine runs. Rehm’s single to left scored Emily Steffensmeier to invoke the 12-run rule.
Fort Madison put up six hits in the third inning highlighted by Cashman’s RBI double with two on and one out.
Steffensmeier, Cashman, and Rehm all had two hits in the win. Cashman had 3 RBI and 3 runs scored. Rehm also had 3 RBI in the win.
Kruse went the distance in the circle giving up there runs on four hits while fanning eight and walking three.
In the final game Saturday, Lauryn Helmick gave up just three hits in a 3-0 shutout of Maquoketa. She struck out eight to give her 19 in the last two games.
Fort Madison put up two runs in the bottom of the third. Lauryn Helmick drew a lead-off walk and then Ruble singled to center and slipped over to second on a throw to third to try and get Taylor Johnson courtesy running for Helmick. After a foul popout for the first out, Steffensmeier grounded out to second, but Johnson would score on the play.
Ruble would then come around to score on a passed ball before a flyout to left ended the inning with Fort Madison up 2-0.
Helmick would get Maquoketa in order in the top of the fourth, and Kruse would connect on an RBI single with one out in the fourth for the final run of the game.
The Hounds had just four hits in the game, one each from Steffensmeier, Logan Johnson, Kruse, and Ruble. Steffensmeier and Kruse each had an RBI.
The Lady Hounds improve to 13-15 on the year and have one five of their last six. The Hounds have doubleheaders this week with Burlington on Monday and Keokuk on Wednesday. The Tuesday games with Davenport West have been canceled.
Class 4A Region 5 action gets underway Friday when Fort Madison travels to Burlington for a 7 p.m. game against the 18-13 Grayhounds.