Falls City High battled through injuries to two key players and swept their games against Auburn and Freeman Thursday night in Auburn to improve to 6-2.
The Lady Tigers held off Auburn 9-5 despite senior pitcher Kirstyn Buchholz being dinged up from a Maggy Rieschick line drive that hit Buchholz in the knee.
FC then cruised passed Freeman 13-5 on the heels of a gutsy performance by junior shortstop Sydney Armbruster, who was nicked up on two different occasions in the win. Armbruster finished 3-for-5 at the plate with two RBIs despite suffering an ankle injury after being hit by a pitch and later a hard, chopping ground ball caught her in the face.
Buchholz and Armbruster were not seriously injured, toughed it out and played all 13 innings Thursday night.
“These were tough wins over a rival and over a district opponent,” FC head coach Jason Bredemeier said. “I am proud of the way the girls gutted out these victories. Kirstyn and Sydney showed a lot of toughness by staying in both games that night to help the team win.”
Buchholz, who picked up wins six and seven on the season, allowed three earned over seven innings and fanned five against Auburn. She turned around with a similar appearance against Freeman finishing with three earned runs allowed and four strikeouts in six innings pitched.
Buchholz drove in three runs on a double in the top half of the fourth inning against Auburn. The double highlighted a five run inning and put FC ahead 7-1. Auburn tried to rally late with three in the bottom of the seventh, but the Lady Tigers turned an unconventional double play when, on the same play, they tagged out two Auburn runners they caught in run-downs.
Brooke Scheitel drove in a pair of runs on 2-of-5 hitting, while Tayten O’Brien, Morgan Bletscher, Bailey Armbruster and Brittany Ritter each drove in one run against the Bulldogs. Allyson Scholl also recorded a pair of hits against and a run scored against Auburn.
Bletscher continued her torrid start to her high school career with a 3-for-4 performance against Freeman, as she drove in three and stole a base. Bletscher is second on the team with 13 hits and fourth with nine RBIs.
Scheitel, Buchholz and Sydney Armbruster each finished with a pair of runs-batted-in, while Bailey Armbruster had a 3-for-4 game with two doubles.
The Lady Tigers, who are collectively hitting .396 and averaging nearly 10 runs per game through the first two weeks of the season, travel back to Auburn Saturday for the Auburn Tournament.
A solid field awaits the Lady Tigers, highlighted by Bishop Neumann (8-1, 6th ranked in Class C) and Wymore Southern (5-2). Southern is responsible for Neumann’s only loss, a 3-0 shutout.
Rounding out the bracket are Johnson County Central (1-7), Maryville, MO, Omaha Mercy/Omaha Brownell-Talbot (1-5), Syracuse (4-3) and the hosts, who are now 3-4.
The tournament begins at 9 a.m. at the Auburn Softball Complex.