ROCKFORD — The Parkway Lady Panthers welcomed the Marion Local Lady
Flyers to Parkway High School on a windy Thursday night for Midwest
Athletic Conference softball action. Parkway’s bats exploded in the
later innings on Thursday night, putting up 10 runs in the final two
frames for a 15-4 victory in six innings.
The Lady Flyers started
the ball game with a Chloe Bertke base hit before Parkway pitcher Hailey
Hawk retired the next two Marion Local batters. Unfortunately for the
Lady Panthers, Marion Local collected four straight base hits including a
two-run double from Maddie Griesdorn to give the Lady Flyers an early
The Lady Panthers got a run back in the bottom of the
first as Mackenzie Sipe reached on a fielder’s choice. Hawk and Bailey
Bates both singled later on. Hawk’s hit drove in Sipe to cut the Lady
Flyers lead to 3-1.
Hawk faced no more than four Marion Local
batters in any of the next five innings. She benefited from a good
defensive play to end the top of the second. Sarah Fesenmyer double into
the right field gap and, as Marah Moeller hustled around the base
paths, Parkway right fielder Alyssa Miller threw a strike to second
baseman Bates whose relay throw to catcher Alisa Gray nailed a sliding
Moeller for the third out.
“They came out hitting the ball and
with the wind the way it was if you squared it up, it was going to go,”
Parkway head coach Mark Esselstein said. “Marion wasn’t trying to overdo
anything. They were just putting the bat on the ball and finding holes,
but we were able to make a couple nice defensive plays to get ourselves
out of some innings; that was big for us. Then Hawk was able to settle
down a bit.”
The Lady Panthers scored a run in the second as
Bailey Strickler reached on a base hit and Miller’s RBI ground out
brought the score to 3-2, Lady Flyers. The Lady Panthers scored two runs
in the third and another run in the fourth to take a 5-3 lead.
big inning for the Lady Panthers was the bottom of the fifth as Parkway
sent 11 batters to the plate. Strickler opened the frame with a base
hit and pinch hitter Mecalyah Hesse also picked up a hit. After an RBI
ground out from Miller and a passed ball, the score was 7-3, Parkway.
Sipe singled through the left side of the Marion Local infield with two
outs to start another rally for Parkway. The next two batters for the
Lady Panthers went deep as Alyx Slusher hit a two-run bomb to center
field, followed by Hawk, who hit a solo dinger, to extend the Parkway
lead to 10-3.
Hawk’s homer was all she wrote for Marion Local
pitcher Amber Schmitz as she was lifted for Emily Niefeld. Niefeld
allowed one more Parkway run in the bottom of the fifth as the Lady
Panthers had an 11-3 advantage.
“We didn’t wait like we could have
on the Marion Local pitcher, but we have some good hitters and a lot of
kids that can contribute, so you just think it’s a matter of time
before we start swinging it the way we can and put some big innings
together,” Esselstein said. “It was kind of frustrating a little bit
because we kept scoring a run here and a run there, but we couldn’t get
the big inning going until the fifth.”
The Lady Flyers got a run
back in the top of the sixth, but the top of the Parkway lineup all
reached base with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Macy Henkle and
Sipe both singled and a five-pitch walk to Slusher loaded the bases for
the clean-up hitter Hawk.
Hawk ended the ball game with one swing
as her towering fly ball landed past the center field fence for a
walk-off grand slam. Parkway run-ruled Marion Local 15-4.
Parkway improves to 10-1 on the year and 3-0 in the MAC. Marion Local drops to 5-8 on the season and 0-4 in the MAC.
MARION LOCAL 4
Bertke cf 4-1-3-0, Marah Moeller 2b 4-0-0-0, Sarah Fesenmyer ss
3-0-1-0, Macy Griesdorn 3-1-1-1, Lexi Arling lf 2-1-1-0, Maddie
Griesdorn rf 3-1-2-2, Emily Nietfield dh p Amber Schmitz 3-0-2-0, Ashley
Schmidt 3b 2-0-0-0, Kara Evans ph 1-0-0-0, Lauren Sanders c 3-0-1-1,
Macy Henkle lf 5-2-2-0, Mackenzie
Sipe cf 4-3-2-0, Alyx Slusher ss 4-2-1-2, Haley Hawk p 5-3-5-7, Bailey
Bates 2b 4-2-3-0, Alisa Gray c 4-0-1-0, Bailey Strickler 3b 4-2-3-0,
McKenna Temple dh Lauren Henderson 1b 2-0-0-0, Mecaylah Hesse ph
2-1-1-0, Alyssa Miller rf 4-0-0-2 Total 38-15-18-11
Local (Moeller, Fesenmyer) Home Runs: Parkway 3 (Hawk 2, Slusher)
Double: Marion Local (Maddie Griesdorn, Fesenmyer) LOB: Marion Local 8
Marion Local 300 001 - 4 11 2
Parkway 112 164 - 15 18 1