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 Friday, July 25, the 206th day of 2014. There are 159 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Walter Jones, of Co, F 23rd Ky, volunteers, lost a satchel on the Camden road, yesterday, containing his papers of discharge from the army.
1889 -- 125 years ago: E. W. Robinson purchased from Mrs. J.T. Miller the livery stable on the triangle south of Market square.
1914 -- 100 years ago: A municipal; bathing beach was advocated at the weekly meeting of the city commission by commissioner Rudgren, who suggested the foot of Seventh Street as an excellent location.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Floyd Shetter, Rock Island county superintendent schools, announced teachers hired for nearly all of the 95 rural and village grade schools in the county.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The mercury officially reached the season's previous high of 95 about noon today and continued upward toward an expected mark of 97.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Fort Armstrong hotel once the wining and dining chambers of Rock Island's elite is under repair. Progress is being made though at a seeming snail's pace to return the building to a semblance of its past glory for senior citizen's homes.








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