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Red Raiders bounce back to upset Hale

East earns one of biggest softball wins in several years

May 14, 2012

Wauwatosa East lost a big lead, bounced back to tie the game and then defeated West Allis Hale, 10-9, in nine innings May 9 at Hart Park after an 0-2 start to the week.

It was one of the biggest upset victories for the Red Raiders, who have been down for several years. East is now 3-8 in the Greater Metro Conference while Hale, the co-defending champions and current contender, fell to 6-3 in league play.

"It was one of the best games I have been a part of since coaching softball," East coach Megan Arndorfer said. "It honestly could have went either way but we held them off and what a feeling that is."

East led 8-2 through five innings, but the Huskies scored three in the sixth and four in the seventh to take a 9-8 advantage.

Kirsten Miller singled to start the seventh - Lauren Simpson-Blaser pinch-ran. Margie Van Meter was hit by a pitch and Becca Hoffland singled to left to tie the game and send it into extra innings.

Hitting the game winner

After a scoreless eighth inning, Brigit Griffin was hit by a pitch to begin the bottom of the ninth and Margie Van Meter was safe on an error. Then Hoffland doubled to center field to score Griffin with the game-winning run.

"What a sight to see - my girls running out and jumping on Becca," Arndorfer said. "For the second time this year, I got choked up because of how proud I am of these girls' fight.

"Today I saw confident girls having fun on the field, up to bat and on the bench. Everyone had their heads in the game and believed we could win and that is why we pulled it off."

Hoffland was the night's star going 4-for-6 and getting the tying and winning hits in the seventh and the ninth innings.

"Becca had an unbelievable game and also had six putouts at short," Arndorfer said. "Megan Gates struggled at the plate today but was stellar at second with a team-leading seven putouts and Brigit Griffin had a big day.

"What a great game for our seniors. These three girls are amazing people and I am so happy that they all had a good game to help our team to a huge victory. They exemplified how seniors lead a team."

Arndorfer also praised pitcher Mariel Leering for hitting her spots and keeping Hale frustrated for most of the game and third baseman Meredith Starnes who had five putouts. She had a huge double play in the sixth and also made a leaping grab in the ninth.

The Bulldogs scored twice in the first two innings and the Red Raiders managed only six hits in dropping a 6-2 decision on May 9 at Dorrow Field.

Hoffland singled twice and Gates added a single and a double, but the Red Raiders couldn't bunch their hits. Leering (5 IP, 7 H, 5 BB) and Molly Nellon (1 IP, 2 H) scattered nine hits in seven innings.

Blown out by Chargers

The Red Raiders went only trailing 2-0 through four innings before the Chargers scored nine runs in two innings to win going away, 11-1.

Van Meter had two singles and Griffin singled, drove in the only run and Gates had two doubles.

Arndorfer was surprised that her team was flat against the Bulldogs and the Chargers.

"Both against Sussex and against WAC we had no fire," Arndorfer said. "The first time we played Sussex we battled back twice down 10. We ended up losing but we kept ourselves in the game with our enthusiasm. And we beat WAC the first time around so I don't know how you cannot have a little excitement to play both teams."

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