By Bob Balgemann, REPORTER

Two of the 14 teams in this fall’s Harlem Community Center softball program scored dramatic victories in Week 4 of the season. Team Garbe was down, 16-3, late in their game with Team Sullivan and came back twice to score a 23-22 win. And Team Duke, trailing 12-4 in the last inning of their game, scored nine runs to win, 13-12. Team Garbe (3-2), named for head coach Jerry Garbe and nicknamed the Sonic, first put 15 runs on the board to take a slim 18-16 lead in the third inning of the 16U game. Team Sullivan came back to regain the edge, 22-21, but the Sonic had last bats in the fourth. Maddison Stavn took advantage of the opportunity with a one-out, two-run double that produced the walk-off win. It was a team effort, Coach Garbe said, with each of his players contributing and getting at least two base hits. Kelsey Powell and Haylee Laidig each went 4-for-6 at the plate, while Gracie Henthorn hit an inside-the-park home run and drove in two runs, while going 3-for-6. Team Garbe hails from Beloit, Wis. The girls making up Team Duke (2-3), named for head coach David Duke, wouldn’t give up. Those Lady Hawks struck for nine runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to edge Team Nalley for their second 14U win of the season. It was a team effort that featured clutch hitting, aggressive base running, effective relief pitching and solid defense. Offensively, six of Coach Duke’s players combined for ten hits and drove in eight runs. Heather Braden, Mia Trampel, Abby Duke and Jessee Suter had two hits apiece. Abby delivered the game-winner in dramatic fashion with a two-out, two-run single. Each of the 11 players, 11-13 years of age, got on base at least once.

Plenty of speed

Team Duke’s players, who are destined to attend Oregon High School, showed their speed on the bases, which helped turn the tide. Mia led the way with four stolen bases; Katelyn Bowers swiped three bases; and Reilee Suter had two steals. Defensively, catcher Jessee threw out two base runners including one in the top of the fifth inning. That was when relief pitcher Abby shut out the Nalley team, which had scored in each of the previous four innings. “The main thing was they remained positive,” Coach Duke said. “They kept their heads in it; they believed they could come back.” This is a new team, put together for the fall season. And he said the goal is to make it a feeder team for the Oregon softball program. That possibility has been helped by one of the high school coaches assisting with the team. It was an upset of sorts what with Team Nalley owning a 2-1 record after losing for the first time against 14U division co-leader, Team Insko. But Coach Jim Nalley’s team bounced back in a later game Sept. 18 to improve to 3-2 with a 20-4 win over Team Hendershot. There was another barn burner that day. Team Buikema edged Team Brassfield, 5-4, in 18U play, to take the regular season series, 2-0. Also, in this division Team Stanton remained undefeated by blanking Team Rodriguez, 16-0. Team Lopez (5-0) and Team Wilhelmi (4-1) are still battling for first place in 16U. Lopez continued its winning ways by defeating Team Weingartner, 18-4, while Team Wilhelmi played a doubleheader and won twice, 17-7 over Team Spradlin and 20-3 over Team Weingartner. And in 14U, Team Insko kept its perfect record in tact by defeating Team Hendershot, 23-10.


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