Posted Online: May 05, 2012, 10:45 pm
Self-sacrificing Mumma saves sweep for Rocky softball
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By Blake Toppmeyer, Special to Sports
QUINCY -- Rock Island's Ashlyn Mumma failed to get the sacrifice bunt down during a Western Big 6 Conference softball doubleheader Saturday.
But the sophomore went one better, singling home what proved to be the winning run in the 10th inning of Game 2.
Mumma¹s hit to center field scored Summer Cook, who reached on a bunt single, and the Rocks added a run on an error later in the frame for a 4-2 extra-inning victory.
The Rocks (12-15, 5-5 Big 6) also took the opener, 5-2, to sweep their conference finale at Quincy (14-12, 2-8).
"It was hot, close to 90 degrees, and it just came down to a battle of wills at the end,'' said longtime Rock Island coach Steve Ebner.
"Our pitcher pitched a bunch and their pitcher did a great job, so it was a test to see who was going to last the longest.''
Mumma ended the slugfest after a bit of embarrassment.
With runners on first and second and nobody out, Ebner planned on letting Mumma hit away in the 10th.
But with the middle of the order coming up in a tie game, the sophomore thought otherwise.
"When she comes up to me and says, `Coach, I want to get a bunt down for the team,¹ I¹m letting her do it,'' Ebner said. "Most kids aren¹t going to go up there and ask to bunt and move runners over. I thought that was really cool.''
Yet after Mumma fouled off two attempts to fall behind 0-2 in the count, the sophomore swung away, and it paid off.
"This was a nice win for us. It was good to sweep after the (hard-luck) season we've had,'' said Ebner, whose team lost 12 straight close calls at one point. "Hopefully this gives us a lot of momentum with the postseason coming.''
Tiffany Comstock (7-9) picked up the victories in both games, limiting Quincy to nine hits and a pair of runs in 14 innings of work.
Comstock relieved Game 2 starter Ashlyn Hornback in the fourth inning trailing 2-0, and shutout the Blue Devils on three hits the rest of the way.
"Tiffany pitched really good all day,'' Ebner said. "Her movement pitches were moving. If her screwball, curveball and her riseball are moving, she¹s a pretty good pitcher.''
Rocky also rallied in the nightcap behind solo home runs by Kyrstin Plohr and De'Aysha Walker.
Hailey Feldhahn also had a two-run homer in the opener, and Mumma had four hits in the twinbill.
It¹s a pick-off play Rock Island has executed against the Blue Devils before.
"I¹m not really sure what happened to be honest with you,'' Quincy coach Eric Hoke said, "because we¹ve talked about it probably five or six times in practice. I wasn¹t fooled, but I wasn¹t running the bases either.''