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Game 4: Blue 15 – Red 10 in Series 2 Opener

The CWBL opened its second Red vs Blue series at Hoover Park in Schaumburg in hot and humid weather. Blue took the first lead of the game, scoring a run in the top of the first. Red answered with a run of their own on a two-out double by Christine, followed by a single by Penny to tie the score at 1 after one.

Red starter Penny shut down Blue in the second 1-2-3 with two strikeouts. Red grabbed their first lead of the day, 2-1, with a run in the bottom of the second, as Sofi doubled home Kelly. The top of the third was a repeat of the top of the second for Blue: 1-2-3 with two strikeouts. In the bottom, Red extended their lead to 5-1 by pounding out five straight hits—a double by Penny and singles by Daya, Tracy, Maria and Kelly. Blue regrouped and got out of the inning by picking off a runner at second, followed by a strikeout.

Penny continued her mastery of the Blue hitters in the fourth. In the bottom of the inning, Sofi greeted new Blue pitcher Kellie with a bomb to center for a double. Yumi followed up with a single that looked to be her first RBI of the season as Sofi chugged around third, but a strong relay throw by shortstop Annie and a quick tag by Val turned that RBI into an out. Later that inning, Penny drove in Minda for Red’s sixth run. 6-1 Red after four.

Amy started the fifth for Blue with a walk and got herself into scoring position by stealing second. Val drove her home with a double to center for Blue’s second run of the game. Penny got out of the inning without any further damage, completing an impressive five innings of work, allowing just two runs on three hits and two walks and striking out eight. 6-2 Red after five.

Tracy came on in relief for Red in the sixth. Blue plated a quick run on a single by Annie and a double by Kellie, but then Tracy put out the flames by retiring the number three and four hitters. Red looked to get back that run in the bottom half with some aggressive baserunning, but third baseman Marsha and catcher Amy made the play and got the out at home. 6-3 Red after six. Tracy worked around a leadoff single to hold Blue scoreless in the seventh, while her team extended their lead to 8-3 by scoring two in the bottom of the frame.

The top of the eighth saw the Blue bats come to life, as they staged a two-out rally to tie the game at 8. Annie started the comeback with a double, which was followed by singles by Kellie, Peggy Sue and Zoe. Amy worked a walk and stole second, then Val drove Zoe and Amy home with her second double of the game to tie the game at 8. Red threatened in the bottom of the inning, as Minda led off with a walk and Penny rapped a one-out single, but Blue reliever Zoe worked out of the jam by striking out Red’s fifth and sixth hitters.

Both teams took the field for the ninth spouting baseball cliches such as “We win this inning, we win this game” and “One pitch at a time” and weather cliches such as “Hot enough for ya?” and “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” Red reliever Sofi struck out Blue’s leadoff hitter. This time, Blue did not wait until they had two outs to get the offense going. Jodee worked a walk, and then Kim delivered her second single of the game. Annie drove home Jodee for the go-ahead run with a single. Kellie reached base with a walk to load the bases for Peggy Sue, who drove in another run. Zoe helped herself with a two-run single, giving her three RBIs for the day. Amy and Val added two more runs on consecutive singles, capping a fine day of Amy setting the table (2-3 with 2 walks) and Val cleaning it up (3-5 with 2 doubles and 5 RBIs).

Red came to bat in the bottom of the ninth needing 7 to tie and 8 to win. They got right down to business, as the first two hitters Maria and Kelly reached based, then scored on Sofi‘s one-out triple to deep left, with the top of the order coming up. Yowzas! Zoe induced a short fly to center for the second out, then walked the next batter, giving Red runners on the corners with the heart of the order coming up. One could say the air was filled with tension, but given how humid the air was, it really didn’t have room for anything else. The batter worked the count to 2-2, then slapped a grounder to the left of the pitcher’s mound. Zoe snagged it then threw in the general direction of Joelle at first, who made a nice play to end the game. Blue takes the first game of Series Two 15-10 with an impressive rally in the eighth and ninth.

The series will continue on Saturday, 8/28 at 9am at Hoover Park. The CWBL will be playing a series against the Aussie Hearts on 8/21 and 8/22 at Simmons Field in Kenosha.

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