Lady Eagles soar to the ship
Schallert sets strikeout record in 7-0 semifinal win
The third inning of Purdy’s Class 1 state softball semifinal against Advance lasted almost 48 hours due to rain delays, but the 1-0 lead for the Lady Eagles only grew on Saturday, culminating in a 7-0 victory over Advance and state championship berth.
The win came largely at the hands of pitcher Lauren Schallert, who set a semifinal record with 16 strikeouts.
On Thursday, with inclement weather pushing in, Purdy opened the scoring in the top of the first when Bayleigh Robbins popped a shot out to right field and scored courtesy runner Rylee Stanford, who was on first base for the intentionally walked Schallert.
Schallert struck out the first six batters she faced on Thursday, and by the top of the third, Purdy had loaded the bases with Robyn Schad at the plate and three balls thrown. As the rain has picked up quite a bit, the Advance coach called the officials over and said his pitcher was struggling to hold onto the ball.
The decision to delay for 30 minutes was made, and that delay ended up lasting until 2 p.m. Saturday, when the game picked back up where it left off.
Back at the plate, Schad faked bunt but let the first two pitches go — both called strikes. With a full count, Schad connected on a pitch, and the Advance left fielder chased the ball to the fence and made an excellent over-the-shoulder catch.
The play ended the inning and gave Advance some momentum, but the Lady Eagles were able to hold off runs. Schallert struck her way out of a jam in the bottom of the third with Lady Hornet runners on second and third.
it took to the top of the fifth for the score to change, and again, it was Robbins. Schallert was let on again and Stanford put on the bases. Robbins hit another shot to left center, and the Advance outfielders both went for the ball and barely missed it, colliding and allowing Robbins to triple.
The score remained 3-0 until the seventh, when Jessi Hoppes lined a ball to center to score two runs, then Annabelle Bowman doubled to send two more home to bring the lead to 7-0.
A grounder to Bowman and two Ks later, Purdy was celebrating the victory.
Robbins, Hoppes and Bowman tallied 2 SBI each, and Schad added 1. Robbins led in hits with 3.
Schallert gave up 2 hits on the day and walked one, striking out the 16.
Purdy will face the winner of Wellington-Napolean and Holcomb on Sunday at noon for a Class 1 state title.