I was out at the Buhler-Andale softball game tonight, and it was truly amazing. Honestly, I have never seen such a physical doubleheader. And I’ve watched a lot of softball games in my lifetime.
I wasn’t the only one who thought it was physical.
Andale swept Buhler 5-2, 5-1.
Buhler 000 000 2 _ 2 4 1
Andale 300 200 x _ 5 6 1
WP _Eck. LP _ King.
Buhler 000 001 0 _ 1 1 4
Andale 011 300 x _ 5 8 1
WP _ Hein. LP _ King.
In the first game, Andale pitcher Sydnee Eck tried to go catch a foul ball up the first-base line but took a hit when she collided with the batter running to first. Eck left the game when she started getting wobbly and the athletic trainer diagnosed her as having a mild concussion. Eck didn’t pitch in Game 2; Molly Hein did.
Andale scored three first-inning runs and then added two more in the fourth. The Indians didn’t give up any runs until the top of the seventh.
Then in the second game, Buhler catcher Kimberly Patterson raced home from third base in the first inning. She got caught in a rundown and turned back toward home and collided with Andale catcher Erin Carney. The umpire ejected Patterson because she didn’t attempt to slide.
“She kind of came in with both hands up and ready to take (Carney) out,” coach Doris Hein said. “It’s against the rules. You can’t intentionally collide with someone.
“Erin is very tough. I don’t think there’s anyone going to out-tough her as far as getting physical and getting down and dirty. She loves the whole aggressive scene. Even when you watch her play basketball, she loves to get after it.”
That toughness is up and down the lineup for Andale (9-1).
“I don’t have to worry about this group getting intimidated. They like to bring it. I don’t want it to sound cocky, but I don’t think anyone will out-tough them. We might get beat, but as far as being out-toughed, they won’t back down. They rise to the occasion when it starts to get that way,” Hein said. “I had to talk, ‘keep this under control. Focus on what we can control. Don’t worry about all the other stuff.’”
Overall, I was impressed with both teams. Buhler is obviously an up-and-coming team. And Andale is strong, as usual. Good speed, good hitting, good pitching, good defense. A tough combination.