When Kinsey Fiedler hit a two-run homer in the five-run top of the seventh inning, the Lee’s Summit North shortstop had no idea the Broncos would need every one of those runs.
With that rally, the Broncos extended their lead to 10-0. But they had to hang on at the end to claim a 10-6 Suburban Big Six victory over host Blue Springs Monday.
“It’s crazy,” said Fiedler, who also had a single, scored twice and drove in four runs for the Broncos. “It’s a 5-0 game going into the top of the seventh and we score five more runs and we’re thinking this one is close to being over.
“It just shows how important every run is, every defensive play is, every out is. If we don’t score those five runs we lose 6-5. Like I said, it was pretty crazy.”
Talk about crazy, Fiedler didn’t even drive in the most runs in the inning. A two-out, bases loaded double by Halle Howes cleared the bases and gave the Broncos the 10-0 advantage.
Broncos starter Cierra Harrison had it on cruise control through six shutout innings. She had allowed just four hits and had six strikeouts. Only one Wildcat reached second base and Blue Springs was down to its final three outs when an inspirational talk by assistant coach Anna Cole fired up the young Blue Springs squad.
“Coach Cole got the girls going in that seventh inning,” Blue Springs coach Jim Brandner said after his team fell to 5-4 overall and 0-2 in conference play. “The first four or five innings we had nothing – no hitting, no energy, nothing. Then the girls got fired up and look what they accomplished.
“It’s a loss, but I am so proud of the way they fought back.”
Abby Kinsler opened the bottom of the seventh with a single, Lanny Anderson walked and Kasia Rainey singled to load the bases.
Harrison then picked up her first out on her seventh strikeout, and leadoff hitter Taylor Snead lined a two-run double to left center. Maddie Kielty then walked to again load the bases and Bella Andrews followed with a monster grand slam that cleared the left field fence by 20 feet.
“I’m glad we finally got some offense, it just came too late,” said Andrews. “When it was 10-0, (Coach Cole) really got us fired up before that last inning. We knew we had to do something and we got a hit, then another hit, then scored some runs and then I got my homer.
“I just wish it would have helped us win the game.”
Harrison got the final two outs to preserve the win.
Broncos coach John Gage, whose team improved to 6-2 and 2-0, told his team after the game that all the little things they did were just as important as that big seventh inning.
“We made some outstanding defensive plays – Izzy (Medrano) had two diving catches in center field that were just outstanding and we knocked down some hard hit balls in the infield,” Gage said. “We had that big seventh inning, which helped us win the game, but getting the little things done early were just as important.”