E-P's kids are alright as Panthers take nine-inning softball opener


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Posted Online: March 28, 2013, 9:14 pm
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By Terry Duckett, tduckett@qconline.com
ERIE — With a roster loaded with up-and-coming young talent, the signs point to a bright future for the Erie-Prophetstown softball program.

However, in their long-awaited season opener against Annawan-Wethersfield on Thursday afternoon, the Panthers showed that perhaps the future is now as two of their youngsters came up big in a 10-9, nine-inning victory at Miller Memorial Field.

First, freshman center fielder Stephanie Thulen capped a 3-for-3, three-RBI batting debut by singling in the tying run in the bottom of the seventh inning after the Titans had rallied for a 9-8 lead on a three-run triple by their own frosh, third baseman Kailynn Osborne.

Next, Thulen came up big defensively when A-W loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the ninth. Osborne flew out to Thulen, who then threw a perfect strike to E-P catcher Kaeli Kovarik to catch a sliding Kaila Dunfee at the plate. Panther sophomore pitcher Savannah Mettler then got Titan slugger Celina VanHyfte to ground out and end the threat.

"I could feel that it was a good throw, and I knew I had to get (Dunfee) out," said Thulen. "That was a big turning point in the game. When one person does something good, that makes the whole team feel good, and I was glad I could do my part."

In the bottom of the ninth, it was Mettler's turn to do her part. After Kovarik led off the inning by singling off A-W junior ace Megan Foes and took second on Clare Kramer's sacrifice bunt, Mettler dropped a bloop single into shallow right field to give coach Bob Phelps the win in his E-P debut.

"She helped me a lot with that play, and it made me have high expectations coming up," Mettler said of Thulen's key double play. "I went up there thinking that I had to get on and not let anything by me. I thought it'd be caught when I hit it."

Mettler finished with two hits, as did Kramer, and also drove in two runs to counter two-hit outings by Annawan-Wethersfield's Osborne, Celina VanHyfte, Foes and Dunfee. Titan freshman shortstop Morgan VanHyfte was 3-for-5 in her prep debut.

"When you score nine runs, you should win," said A-W coach Jeremy Trill. "That's a lot of runs not to win. We had plenty of offense but not enough defense. That's something I'm confident will come around."


















 




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  Today is Tuesday, Sept 2, the 245th day of 2014. There are 120 days left in the year.

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1889 — 125 years ago: Alderman Frank Ill, Winslow Howard and Captain J.M. Montgomery returned from Milwaukee, where they attended the national Grand Army of the Republic encampment.
1914 — 100 years ago: Three members of the Rock Island YMCA accepted positions as physical directors of other associations. Albert Cook went to Kewanee, C.D. Curtis to Canton and Willis Woods to Leavenworth, Kan.
1939 — 75 years ago: Former President Herbert Hoover appealed for national support of President F.D. Roosevelt and Congress in every effort to keep the United States out of war.
1964 — 50 years ago: The Rock Island Junior chamber pf Commerce has received answers to about 65 % of the 600 questionnaires mailed out recently in a "Community Attitude Survey" to analyze sentiments of citizens towards their city's various recreational, educational, and civic service programs.
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