IAC SOFTBALL: CANDOR RALLIES FROM 8 DOWN TO DEFEAT O-M (10 PHOTOS)
(2019-04-24)Tioga County Sports Report
CANDOR â€” When their backs were against the wall, the Candor Indians stepped up to meet the challenge. Trailing by eight runs after 3 1/2 innings, Candor rallied to defeat Odessa-Montour, 9-8, in extra innings here Wednesday.
The Indians came into the game a half-game behind O-M and Marathon and were one out away from slipping further behind in the IAC Division 1 race when they fell behind, 8-0, heading into the bottom of the fourth inning.
â€œWe were down â€¦ and came back, just kept fighting back,â€ said Candor head coach Steve Frye.
Trailing 8-5 in the bottom of the seventh, Anna Greeno reached second following a walk and a steal, and Asia Curkendall stepped to the plate and hit an 0-1 pitch over the right fielderâ€™s head for an inside-the-park home run.
Kaitlyn Edwards followed with a soft, low blooper that hit the ground just out of reach of the O-M shortstop and skipped off her glove. Edwards would steal second and third, then tie the game on Emily Hopkinsâ€™ double.
â€œShe was losing a little control, so we were taking advantage of that,â€ Frye said of O-M pitcher Grace Vondracek. â€œThenÂ we got a couple big hits. Asiaâ€™s big home run was nice. Jennah hit the ball. Everybody did their part. It was a great game, a great comeback.â€
Reserve pitcher Shelby Swartz would retire the side in the top of the eighth. In the Candor half of the inning, Addie Aman would get hit by a pitch, then steal second. Moments later, as she was stealing third, the catcher threw the ball wide of the third baseman and Aman raced home to give the Indians the win.
â€œShe missed the steal sign because she was too busy talking to everybody else and then she finally saw it and just ran,â€ chuckled Frye. â€œIt was good. She did her job. We ran well all night. We had no problem getting our bases.â€
The Indians finished the game with six extra-base hits and six stolen bases.
However, Candor wasnâ€™t faring so well during the early innings. Only two of the first 11 batters reached base safely â€” Searra Allen and Aman with singles in the second and third innings, respectively.
Odessa only put two runners on base in the first two innings, including a Vondracek triple in the first inning that would fail to score, but O-M would get rolling in the third. An error and a hit batter set up a two-run double by McKenna Lott and an RBI double by Vondracek, and Vondracek would also score to make it 4-0 in favor of O-M.
The visitors would tack on four more runs in the fourth on four singles and a pair of walks. Raven Lott walked, Dezirae Minnier and McKenna Lott singled, Vondracek walked, and Lydia Lynch and Madisyn Wells singled.
Down 8-0, Candor picked up a run in its half of the fourth on a Jennah Kareem homer, then added another in the fourth when Henry tripled and scored on Kareemâ€™s two-out single.
The Indians thwarted a threat in the fifth after O-M loaded the bases on an error, walk and single. Third baseman Allen fielded a pop fly and alertly stepped on the bag to catch the runner off base for an inning-ending double play.
After stranding the O-M leadoff hitter in scoring position in the sixth, the Candor bats responded in the bottom of the frame. Curkendall singled, Edwards smacked an RBI double, Henry walked and Aman belted a two-run double, closing the gap to 8-5.
The comeback showed the youthful Candor squadâ€™s desire to succeed.
â€œIt says a lot,â€ Frye said. â€œMost of them are young. Thereâ€™s only a couple of old kids. The young kids are excited and want to play hard, and theyâ€™re doing the things, theyâ€™re listening, making the play when they have to. We played very well defensively toward the end.
â€œThe beginning of the game was a little shaky. We came back and we held our own, and held our serve and scored one. Cheesy, but good.â€
Candor pumped out 10 hits on the night. Curkedall and Henry each went 2-for-3, and Aman and Kareem were both 2-for-4. Allen and Edwards added one hit apiece.
Candor improves to 7-2 while O-M slips to 7-3.
IN PHOTO 1: Candorâ€™s Addie Aman scores the winning run. â€¦ PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.
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