By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 10/5/22

Already guaranteed no worse than a share of their eighth consecutive Gasconade Valley Conference (GVC) softball championship, Chandler Harker’s Vienna Lady Eagles entered last Tuesday’s …

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Already guaranteed no worse than a share of their eighth consecutive Gasconade Valley Conference (GVC) softball championship, Chandler Harker’s Vienna Lady Eagles entered last Tuesday’s GVC showdown with Belle’s Lady Tigers looking to make it an outright title.

Holding off a late-inning rally by the host Lady Tigers, Vienna held on for a 4-2 victory over their Maries County softball rivals.

Vienna struck first when Salene George led off the game with a single before scoring when Kayla Hertzing reached on an error for an early 1-0 lead.

Belle looked to answer in the bottom half of the first inning.

Ryleigh Long and Dakota Butcher recorded back-to-back singles with two outs only to see the rally stalled out on a fly out.

Turning to the long ball in the top of the second, Vienna added to their 1-0 lead on a two-run home run by Aubrey Schwartze over the center-field fence that also scored Terra Huffman after she led the frame off with a single.

Belle starting pitcher Emma White got an inning-ending double play to limit the damage to two runs leaving the Lady Tigers trailing Vienna 3-0 entering the bottom of the second inning.

After a scoreless third inning, Belle’s offense was able to get to Lady Eagle hurler Abrea Simmons.

White helped her own cause with a one-out single before taking second on an error.

Nevaeh Kinsey then drove White in with a RBI double cutting Vienna’s lead to 3-1 with only one out.

Ileana Sullinger later reached on an error allowing Kinsey to score and trim the Vienna lead to 3-2 after four innings.

Hertzing helped the Lady Eagles get one of those runs back in the top of the fifth inning by doubling and scoring when Huffman reached on an error bumping Vienna’s lead back up to two runs at 4-2.

Belle’s Aubrey Rehmert led off the bottom of the fifth inning reaching on an error before being left stranded after three consecutive outs.

White was able to limit Vienna to a two-out single from Simmons in the top of the seventh inning to keep the Lady Tigers within striking distance of their GVC and Maries County softball rivals.

Rehmert singled with one out in the bottom of the seventh to keep Belle’s hope alive of either a walk-off victory or sending the game into extra innings.

Natalie Gehlert then reached on a fielder’s choice which saw Rehmert retired for the second out of the inning.

Representing the tying run, Long was struck out by Simmons clinching an outright GVC softball title for Vienna.

White took the loss allowing four runs (two unearned) on 10 hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

Rehmert and White both finished with two hits to lead the Lady Tiger offense.

Jaelee Stricklan, Schwartze and Simmons each had two hits for Vienna against Belle to lead the Lady Eagles offense.

Simmons also earned the complete-game win allowing two unearned runs on eight hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.

Vienna also won the junior varsity game by a score of 4-2.

Andrea Novak had a hit and two runs scored to lead the JV Lady Eagles.

Savannah Perkins and Rachel Baretich both had a hit and a run batted for the JV Lady Tigers.

Two nights later last Thursday, the Lady Eagles celebrated senior night hosting Richland’s Lady Bears at Vienna City Park.

Grabbing an early 4-0 lead after one inning, Vienna gave senior pitcher Abrea Simmons all the run support she would need in an 11-1 victory over the visiting Lady Bears in five innings.

All eight seniors started for Harker including Andrea Novak, Riley Rosentreter, Terra Huffman, Kiera Hollis, Nora Garro, Olivia Hagan, Madeleine Novak and Simmons.

Andrea Novak, Huffman and Hollis each delivered a team-high two hits while Hagan drove in a team-high two runs.

Drawing two walks apiece on senior night for the Lady Eagles were Andrea Novak, Madeleine Novak and Rosentreter.

Courtesy running for Simmons and Huffman throughout the game, Julianna Davis scored a team-high three runs against Richland.

After celebrating Vienna’s eight seniors, the Lady Eagles played a three-inning JV game against Richland coming out on top, 5-0.

Addie James threw a no-hitter and a shutout allowing just one walk to go with six strikeouts.

Vienna will end the regular season tomorrow (Thursday) on the road in a Highway 42 softball showdown at Iberia.


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