Waterloo, trailing 6-2 after four innings and 6-4 entering the seventh, scored 12 runs in the final frame to earn a 16-6 comeback victory over host Crestwood.
“It meant everything,” Vikings pitcher and cleanup hitter Machayla Kehrer said. “We knew they were out for blood, but we were out for blood, too.”
As a result, following Monday’s 11-8 Crestwood win in Atwater, the Vikings (7-1, 4-1 PTC County) drew closer to the Red Devils (7-2, 6-1) atop the County midway through the conference season.
“This was a big game,” Waterloo coach Brenda Flarida said. “We knew how big this was. We had to split with them because they’re powerful. There is no doubt their lineup is powerful, so we knew we had to split with them to give us a chance.”
The seventh-inning rally itself occurred fairly quickly, as the Vikings needed just three at-bats to erase the Red Devils' 6-4 lead.
Kerrie More (3-for-3, three runs, two RBI) led off with a homer. Amber Cieplinski (4-for-5, two doubles, four runs, three RBI) hit a double, followed by the go-ahead blast from Kehrer (2-for-4, two runs, three RBI), putting Waterloo up 7-6.
“Hitting is so contagious,” Flarida said. “Once we hit a homerun there in the seventh, everyone just took off.”
The Vikings never stopped hitting, spanking the ball into the gaps all inning long. They notched 11 hits, including three doubles and the two homers, in the seventh alone.
“I’ve been involved in 2,000 fast-pitch softball games or more and I’ve never seen anything like it,” Red Devils coach Luke Darrah said. “I’ve never seen a high school team hit the ball like that. We’ve got good pitchers and they threw good pitches and they hit good pitches.”
Check Wednesday's Record-Courier for the full story of Waterloo-Crestwood softball.