Logan Valley Softball League players spent their weekend at Two Rivers Sports Complex in Arlington.
The age 14 and younger and 18U league tournaments began — and ended, unfortunately — Saturday with teams from Arlington and Fort Calhoun among the participants. It was good a day to be at the ballpark, according to a pair of Eagles.
“The energy from everybody because it's the weekend,” said Grace Fehlhaber in regards to her favorite aspect of summer softball Saturdays.
“It's always a good time to be with all of our friends together,” Lainey Tierney added.
The 18U Arlington squad went 2-0 on the first day of the Logan Valley tourney, while the 14U Eagles were 1-1 and the 14U Pioneers went 0-2. The hometown teams' play was scheduled to continue Sunday, but rains caused cancellations across the board.
18U Eagles improve to 2-0 with walk-off
“I was pretty confident,” Fehlhaber said after coming through with a walk-off hit in Arlington's second game of the 18U tournament. “Playing under pressure, (coach) Mary (Theiler) usually pushes me with positive attitude.”
With teammate Johna Moural starting at second base in the extra-inning situation, the outfielder stepped up to the plate with the game on the line. The Tekamah-Herman Gold had battled back from a 3-1 hole to force an extra inning, but Fehlhaber could end it in Arlington's favor with just one swing — and did. Her knock into left field was fumbled by the Raider outfielder, allowing allowing the opportunity to score the game-winning run in the 4-3 ballgame.
The win pushed the second-seeded Eagles into Sunday's Logan Valley League semifinals with a 2-0 record. They got to that point with the help of Tierney, who not only made a leaping catch from her spot at second base late against Tekamah-Herman, but also tallied the run that made the score 3-1 in the first place. She scored on a passed ball after a triple down the right field line that was of equal distance from the line — about a foot — and the Gold outfielder's glove when it landed in fair territory.
On the triple, Tierney dropped to the dirt near third base when making her turn. On all fours, she made her way back to the safety of the bag with a smile on her face — certainly a result of those positive weekend vibes Arlington players had Saturday.
“I'm good,” Tierney said, laughing it off. “My legs give out a lot and I didn't think I could get back up, so I had to crawl.”
Sarah Theiler earned the pitching win against Tekamah, but it was Hailey Brenn who had nine strikeouts and just one walk in the Eagles' 13-0 tournament opener against Wisner. The Arlington offense, meanwhile, hit their run total in just two innings.
The Eagles' onslaught started in the first inning with four runs. The first score came on an error in the outfield before Fehlhaber's RBI knock made it 2-0.
Tierney's two-RBI single pushed that advantage to four runs.
After three more Ks by Brenn, the Arlington offense outdid itself during the second frame. A run scored on another Wisner error before Emily Lingenfelter's bases-clearing RBI knock made it 8-0.
Brenn, Fehlhaber and Stromer added their own RBIs before the 12th and 13th runs scored off an error the result of contact made by Jaidyn Spoon's swing. The game ended with one more 1-2-3 half inning.
Eagles' 14U squad goes 1-1
The Arlington age 14 and younger squad earned one win and one loss during its Logan Valley League tourney.
In the 7-6 loss, the Eagles nearly pulled off a comeback victory. Trailing Logan View 7-4 during the bottom of half of the final inning, both Keelianne Green and Kiersten Taylor notched RBI singles.
From there, though, the Raiders secured the victory. They forced an Arlington pop out for the second out and made a play on a grounder for the third and final out of the game.
Earlier in the day, the 14U Eagles opened Logan Valley tourney play with a 7-3 win against the Fremont Force.
Down 3-2 during the second inning, Taylor — the winning pitcher — drew an Arlington walk to tie the score. Then, catcher Kadie Robinson gave the tournament hosts a lead with two-RBI hit.
Katie Von Seggern later tallied an RBI single and Aadra Karr was hit by a Fremont pitch with the bases loaded to give the Eagles their four-run victory. The win ensured the hosts would reach the second day of the tournament on Sunday had it happened.
14U Pioneers drop heartbreaker
Fighting for its tournament survival, the age 14 and younger Fort Calhoun softball team nearly upset the eighth-seeded Fremont Force in a 9-8 elimination game.
The Pioneers led going into the final frame, but the Force pulled off the come-from-behind victory in walk-off fashion.
To get a lead, six Fort Calhoun softball players scored runs against Fremont. They were: Maddie Reed, Dru Tripp, Sophie Thomas, Sam Thomas, Gina Namuth and Montanna Hirchert.
The Pioneers dropped their opener to the Tekamah-Herman Purple Tigers 12-0, which set them up against the Force in the aforementioned elimination game.