NEW LONDON — New London softball hosted Van Buren in an offensive showcase on Tuesday. After a four-run sixth inning gave New London a two-run lead, Van Buren stormed back with four in the seventh to steal the game back. The Warriors won 10-8.
New London scored one run each in the third and fourth innings to jump out to a 2-0 lead. Van Buren exploded for six runs in the fifth to grab the lead, but the Tigers got two back in their half of the inning to cut the Warriors’ lead to 6-4 after five innings.
After a scoreless top of the sixth for Van Buren, the Tigers rallied in the bottom half. Kara Krieger and Marah Hartrick hit back-to-back RBI doubles to give New London four more runs and an 8-6 lead.
Van Buren didn’t lie down in the top of the seventh. The Warriors cut the lead in half on an RBI single from Salena Sayre. Brooklynn Cormier tied it up with a bases-loaded RBI single of her own with one out.
With two outs and runners on, Ella Jirak gave Van Buren the lead with an RBI single. Another run came around to throw on a defensive miscue, and the Warriors led 10-8.
New London starter Chloe Heitmeier was able to get out of the inning just down two. Heitmeier led the bottom of the seventh off with a single, but Van Buren wiggled out of the inning by getting three outs in the next two batters. Kaylor Schulte advanced the runner with a ground out to first base, and the Warriors turned a double play on an Elly Manning ground ball, getting the lead runner out at third to end the game.
“We had a nice rally back and we just weren’t able to hold them,” said Tiger head coach Mark Chiri after the game. “Chloe is doing a good job, but we know they’re going to put the ball in play. We’ve got to make the plays, not just physically, but mentally.”
Hartrick finished the game 4-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. Krieger went 2-4 with a double and four RBIs. Manning, Ashlyn McSorley, and Alexa Wenger each went 2-4.
Layney Loyd was 1-2 with an RBI in the loss. Sofie Reighard went 1-3 with an RBI of her own.
The Tigers fell to 5-2 on the season with both losses being right down to the wire. They’ll head to Danville tonight for a SEISC South Division showdown.