The combination of one team gaining momentum as the game wore on and the other team hurting itself with mental mistakes toward the end likely flipped the outcome of last night’s Pella versus Pella Christian softball match-up, as the Lady Dutch defeated the Lady Eagles 11-3 at Pella High School.
Down 0-3 going into the bottom of the fourth, Pella began to rally with well-placed hits and by capitalizing on Pella Christian’s mistakes to take a 4-3 lead and never looked back. Lady Dutch Head Coach Krista DeMeulenaere said her team never lost the confidence that they could come back and win.
“We did not believe it was an improbable win,” said DeMeulenaere. “We knew that we were hitting the ball and that if we continued to put pressure [on Pella Christian] and play our game we were going to score some runs. Others might have thought it was improbable, but we didn’t.”
Pella’s designated player, Bri Arkema, was among the leaders on offense, going 2-for-4 at the plate and tallying two RBIs. Whitney Williams and Mandy DeMeulenaere also went 2-for-4, each scoring a pair of runs as well, while on defense, DeMeulenaere struck out nine Pella Christian batters without giving up a single walk.
Lady Eagles co-Head Coach Nate Van Wyk was quick to give Pella credit for playing well, but said it was a disappointing finish for his own team, which had started out the game they way they had hoped.
“Right away we were aggressive. Shelby Weaver, right away, she gets on base, she steals second, she moves over to third and scores on a passed ball, and we’re feeling good and our confidence is high,” said Van Wyk. “But they started making plays and we started getting tense a little bit, and it didn’t quite turn out the way we wanted it to.”
First baseman Sami Veenstra had two hits and an RBI to lead the Pella Christian offense; while pitcher Paige Blom struck out nine Pella batters on defense, but also gave up five walks. The win improves Pella to 5-3 overall and 3-0 in the Little Hawkeye Conference, while Pella Christian fell to 7-5 this season and 3-2 in league play. Both teams are back in action tonight.