WEST BURLINGTON – The Holy Trinity Catholic ladies softball team started the season with a couple tough losses, but hung tough with perennial powerhouse West Burlington Notre Dame Tuesday night.
The Crusaders lost 19-9 Tuesday but had a 9-8 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning, but the Falcons figured out HTC starter Mary Hellige and tagged her for 11 runs in the bottom of the fifth to invoke the 10-run rule after five innings.
Hellige, a recent signee at Carl Sandberg college, went the distance for the Crusaders giving up all 19 runs, just eight earned. She also went 3-for-3 at the plate with three singles and 3 RBIs and two runs scored.
Senior Halie Cain and Elle Hellman both had two singles. Kayla Box had an RBI double in the first inning. Cain led off, reaching after getting hit by a pitch from the Falcons’ Lauren Summers. Hellige lined to deep right, scoring Kane and then Box doubled, scoring Hellige all the way from first.
Summers would get the next two hitters to fan and then West Burlington went to work scoring the first three hitters for a 3-2 lead. Hellige would face eight hitters in the first inning before getting Brynn Logan in a 1-3 groundout.
HTC would put two more on in the second when Hellman and Cain both scored on Hellige’s 2-RBI single to right center. Box fanned to end the inning.
The Falcons’ Anna Engberg, Lauren Krieger, and Summers all scored with one out in the bottom of the second. Hellige would face eight batters again, giving up three runs to the first four hitters in the second before Hellige and the Crusader defense settled in.
The senior and HTC's defense held West Burlington scoreless in the third, but West Burlington had done the same to the Crusaders in the top half of the inning.
The Falcons would add two runs in the bottom of the fourth for an 8-4 lead after four innings. Holy Trinity then came alive, scoring five runs in the top of the fifth to take a 9-8 lead with the first four hitters reaching base.
West Burlington responded by blowing up the bottom half of the fifth with 11 runs sparked by Summers' walk-off 3-run home run.
Hellige worked 4 2/3 innings, giving up 16 hits while walking four and striking out three. She goes to 0-2 on the year.
The Crusaders dropped a 6-4 decision Monday to Mt. Pleasant with Hellige taking the loss. HTC tied the game up at 3 in the top of the fourth, but gave up two runs in the bottom of the fifth and one in the sixth for a 6-3 Panthers' lead. HTC did get a run back in the top of the seventh, but couldn’t muster the comeback.
Brooke Mueller went 2-for-3 with an RBI in the win. Cain, Hellige, Box, and Rachel Menke all scored in the win.
HTC falls to 0-2 on the year and hosts Pekin on Thursday and Central Lee on Friday night.
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