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Diamonds rally for late-inning victory

Score six runs in last at-bat to overtake Cleveland in softball action

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Jul 18, 2021

Kylee Eckmann is in her windup as she prepares to fire the ball to the plate in a recent softball game.

The Blue Earth Diamonds softball team trailed host Cleveland 12-10 heading into their final at-bat in the top of the seventh inning. The Diamonds put on their rally caps and scored six runs and then held Cleveland scoreless in the bottom of the seventh inning to go home with a thrilling 16-12 victory on Thursday, July 8.

Kylee Eckmann started the rally when she reached first base on a dropped third strike. The fleet-footed Eckmann stole second base. After Cleveland recorded their first out of the inning, Taylor Klabunde hit a single to advance Eckmann to third. A walk to McKenna Dutton loaded the bases.

Cleveland got another out on a pop fly. Down to their final out, Blue Earth’s Clara Ziegler walked to bring home Eckmann and cut Cleveland’s lead to 12-11.

Berkley Hagedorn was the next batter when the Cleveland pitcher threw a wild pitch which allowed Klabunde to score the tying run.

Hagedorn then laid down a bunt which Cleveland misplayed allowing two more Diamond runners to score while Hagedorn advanced to second. Blue Earth now led 14-12.

One swing of the bat by Hannah Meyer gave Blue Earth a 16-12 lead. Meyer’s home run traveled over the fence scoring the final two runs of the game for the visiting team.

The Diamonds then held Cleveland scoreless in the bottom of the seventh inning to preserve the 16-12 victory.

Blue Earth had taken an early lead in the game. McKenna Dutton led off the second inning with a double to center field. She advanced to third on a line drive base hit by Claire Sullivan. Hits by Hagedorn, Meyer and Roxanne Quintero resulted in four runs for the Diamonds.

A two-run double by Sullivan in the third inning brought home Olivia Dutton and Klabunde, who had each singled to reach base.

Blue Earth held a 10-9 lead when Cleveland came to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning. Unfortunately for the Diamonds, the host team was able to push three runs across the plate to take a 12-10 lead before the Diamonds responded with their seventh inning comeback.