Sports / The Prairie Fire / May 1, 2008

Controversial no-call taints close contests for the Fire on senior night

The final weekend of the season featured a pair of double headers, a conference match-up against the Illinois College Lady Blues followed by a Sunday series featuring Blackburn College.

A bad call at a critical point in game one and a few missed opportunities in game two dropped the Prairie Fire to 3-5 in conference play for the season.

Knox found themselves down two runs right away as IC scored quickly in the first inning. But the top of the order for Knox struck back in the bottom of the inning, scoring two runs as well. Each team tallied runs in the third, but it was timely pitching and defense from both sides that dominated in the middle innings.

The game turned in the bottom of the seventh inning with some umpire-induced controversy. The Knox half of the seventh started with consecutive singles from senior Katie Schneider, senior Katie Dura, and junior Ashley Konicki. With the bases loaded and no outs, sophomore Jessa Dahl popped up near third base. The infield fly rule was not called.

Unable to advance with the ball in the air, the veteran Knox runners had to retreat to their respective bases, but the ball dropped and the Lady Blues turned it into a triple play. Riding that momentum, IC put up a four spot in the top of the eighth inning. Knox, unable to answer in the bottom of the inning, fell 7-3.

Between games a small ceremony honored Schneider, Monyca Fisher, Ann Marie Albright, Dura, Bridget McCune and Jenny Golz who would be playing their final game in purple and gold the following day.

Both teams went on the offensive in game two. The bats battled back and forth for eight innings leading to 17 hits by each team and seven lead changes. Trailing by two runs in the top of the eighth inning, sophomore Cheyenne Cortez doubled to the right center field gap scoring Konicki and Fisher to tie the game. But the bottom of the inning spelled the end when IC scored the winning run on a Knox throwing error.

Despite a disappointing 8-0 loss in game one on Sunday against Blackburn, the Fire rallied in game two. A 9-8 come from behind win featuring an eight run fifth inning, and ended the team’s season on a high note. Bridget McCune was credited with the win in her final appearance with Knox.

The 2008 softball team ended 4-22 overall during Coach Jamie Strinz first year.

John Curtin

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