Pekin rallies for eight runs in seventh inning
Pekin’s high-octane offense was doused with water Wednesday in a game at New London, but it re-ignited against Mediapolis the following day.
Pekin had been averaging close to 10 runs per game in recent weeks, but it could not manage to push across a single tally against one of the area’s best young pitchers in New London’s Morgan Christner. The Panthers lost the game 8-0.
Just one day later, the Panthers exploded for 13 runs in a 13-10 victory against Mediapolis, which included an eight-run rally in the top of the seventh.
NEW LONDON 8, PEKIN 0
Christner limited the Panthers to three hits and no runs in seven innings of work. She struck out 12 batters.
“She overpowered us at times,” said Pekin coach Bryan Marlay. “Christner throws the ball hard and has good movement. We took some good swings and we hit the ball hard but we hit it at ‘em.”
Marlay said his girls tried to bunt a few times but that’s not really their style of play.
“We’re not a team that plays smallball. We swing the bats. We put the ball in play hard,” he said. “We had opportunities to score a few runs but we didn’t come through with hits with two outs.”
PEKIN 13, MEDIAPOLIS 10
The final score of Thursday’s game doesn’t tell the whole story, because Mediapolis was on the verge of closing out a win headed into the seventh inning.
After six frames, the Bulldogs were leading the Panthers 8-5. The Panthers strung together a number of hits to start the seventh to cut the deficit to 8-7.
Cheyann Lankford was intentionally walked to load the bases for Brittany Gillam. Gillam hit a ball toward the secondbaseman, but the ball took a bad hop on the fielder, who was unable to record an out on the play.
Beth Atwood, who was on second, raced around the bases and scored on a hit that never left the infield to give the Panthers a 9-8 lead.
Leslie Stone followed with a big blow – a three-run home run to put Pekin up 12-8. Maranda Baker hit a triple and scored on a wild pitch to make it 13-8.
Pekin held Mediapolis to two runs in the bottom half of the inning to preserve the victory.
“The parents are starting to nickname the team ‘the cardiac cats’ for all of our seventh-inning heroics,” Marlay said.
Pekin is 13-4 in the conference and 19-9 overall.