IMS Softball Lost Close Game at Highland

Hannah Harris

IMS 8, HIGHLAND 9 (8 innings)

JUNE 22, RIVERSIDE.  IMS traveled to play perennial conference power Highland on Thursday night.  IMS played its best game of the season, taking the Huskies to 8 innings before falling 9 to 8.  Every player in the line-up contributed offensively, as IMS piled up 16 hits.   Suzanna Yoder had 4 hits, including a booming double.  Avery Blauvelt had 3 hits and just missed a fourth when her long line drive was hauled in by the left fielder.  Alyssa Gonzalez had two big hits to extend rallies, and both Rachel Miller and Joya Schrock had key singles late in the game. On the mound, Hannah Harris pitched a very strong game, yielding on two walks while striking out 6 Huskies.  IMS played exceptionally well in the field.  Yoder flawlessly handled a number of tough chances at third base against a speedy Highland team.  Gonzalez made two tough catches in right field.   The entire team played alertly against an aggressive base running team.  The game was tight the entire evening, with IMS finally taking the lead in the top of the seventh inning.  After Shaw and Blauvelt each lined out to start the inning, IMS rallied with two outs.  Trailing 6 to 4 and down to their last out, IMS pushed across 3 runs.  Harris and Graber both singled, and Miller coaxed a walk to load the bases.  Gonzalez singled to score Harris.  Then Schrock’s clutch line drive single to center drove in Graber and Miller.  The rallied ended when Yoder’s hard ground ball to the left side was gathered in by Highland’s shortstop on a nice play.  Highland came back to score a single run in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings.  In the top of the eighth, IMS continued its excellent hitting.  Ney and Shaw walked to start the inning, and Blauvelt followed with a sharp single to left to load the bases.  Harris drove in the go ahead run to put IMS back on top, 8 to 7.  The bottom of the eighth proved to be IMS’s undoing, however, as Highland loaded the bases with no outs and then plated two runs on successive hits.  Coach Ney commented, “We played one of the best teams in our conference evenly tonight.  Highland is known for their aggressive style of play, which can rattle their opponent.  Tonight, we played with an edge and showed what we’re capable of doing.  It was an exciting game and we’re looking forward to more wins.”