It seemed like the Manhattan High softball team was handling Emporia on Friday at Anneberg Park.
But the Spartans erased a three-run deficit in the top of the seventh inning of the second game to sit tied with MHS at 4 apiece going into the bottom of the inning.
The Indians didn’t seem interested in extra innings though, as Kori Bridegam and Cat Bridegam got on base with two outs and Kaitlyn Motley singled in Kori to give the Indians a 5-4 win. The Indians won the first game 8-0.
MHS coach Scott Mall said the game became a little too close at the end.
“That was tough at the end when we had two outs and no one on, but Kori made good contact like she had all game, and Cat hit the ball really hard,” he said. “It was a nice place to have Kaitlyn up there — she’s been in those situations a lot and she got a clean single to win it.”
The Indians led 3-0 after the first inning, first scoring a run on a fielder’s choice from Kori Bridegam that scored Kylie Smith. Cat Bridegam scored on an error in right field and Ashley Hageman grounded out to score Sidney Bannister.
The Spartans scored one run in the fourth and the Indians added a run in the sixth on a Hageman single to score Aubrey Jung. The Spartans scored three runs on MHS in the top of the seventh to tie the game.
Tyler Hoyt started the game for the Indians and pitched six innings, giving up four hits and notching one strikeout. The run allowed in the fourth inning was unearned. Allison Devlin came in relief at the start of the seventh and took the win with Motley’s walk-off single.
“Tyler pitched really well, she threw strikes, moved the ball around, threw some off-speed stuff that worked really well and had some good low pitches,” Mall said. “It’s hard when she pitches because she is playing so good at shortstop that you really like her at both places.
“This was her first real varsity shot at pitcher — she earned her chance to pitch and she did well.”
The Indians opened game one with a first-inning sacrifice fly from Cat Bridegam to score Smith. MHS led 3-0 after the second inning with Hageman scoring Jenna Stigge on a fielder’s choice and Jung reaching home on an error.
Hageman hit a two-run double to put the Indians up 5-0 in the third, and Hoyt scored Hageman in the fifth on a groundball.
Cat Bridegam picked up the final RBIs of the night on a two-run double in the sixth to make the score 8-0.
Mall said the team hit well all-around in the first game, which might have affected them a little with the way Game 2 started.
“The first game was just what you need to do, we hit the ball, scored runs, manufactured some when we needed to — we just kept scoring a few every inning,” he said. “I think that hurt us a little when we scored so many runs early in the second inning, they thought it would be just like the first game.”
Jung threw what was scored as a one-hitter in the game, going a complete-game seven innings and finishing with one hit, three walks and five strikeouts.
“Aubrey pitched a great first game,” Mall said. “It was either a one-hitter or no-hitter, however you determine the one ball in the infield that we fielded, but couldn’t get it out of our glove. She walked a few people, but she was in control the whole game.”
The Indians will be on the road Tuesday when they travel to Highland Park.