MONROE — The PCM girls’ softball home opener against Saydel on May 30 came with no shortage of drama.
PCM head coach Scott Bridges was relegated to the dugout and senior Madison Foster delivered a walk off to win the game, 6-5, during Heart of Iowa Conference action.
“I think, maybe if you could script a win for a young team, that might be how to do it to give them some confidence,” Bridges said.
The Mustangs traded runs with the Eagles throughout the early part of the game. PCM (1-1 overall, 1-1 in the HOIC) scored three in the first only to have Saydel answer back with two in the second.
Neither team had an opportunity to score until the fifth inning.
Saydel had two runners on base with two outs, but eighth-grader Belle Hudnut made a catch at the wall to bail the Mustangs out.
The bottom of the fifth came with some controversy. After senior Kenzie Johnson walked, sophomore Regan Freland hit a grounder past second base and Johnson advanced to third. After a discussion, the umpire called Johnson out on runner interference.
“The ump said the ball touched her,” Bridges said. “I said that the ball never changed direction and it rolled right through and never slowed down.”
“He said that it didn’t change direction but it slowed down, and I said ‘I think you got the call wrong.’ I was respectful about it, but I just disagreed with him.”
One of PCM’s fans agreed with Bridges, letting the umpire know enough that he kicked the fan out. Bridges was told to stay in the dugout after the fan made another comment as he was leaving.
“I thought it was a situation where the official tried to change the game,” Bridges said. “He could have given us a minute to get the fan out of here, but he didn’t and he restricted me to the dugout.”
Saydel (1-6, 0-2) capitalized on the Mustangs’ fifth inning adversity, scoring three in the top of the sixth. Senior McKenzie Carton laid down a bunt that scored senior Alexis Carney.
Junior Jade Olson hit a fly ball to right field that scored two, putting the Eagles up 5-3.
Johnson hit an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to add one more run for PCM.
Heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Mustangs found themselves down 5-4.
Freland and sophomore Hailey Schutte made sure the Eagles’ lead didn’t last long.
Freland hit a leadoff triple and Schutte laid down a bunt to send Freland home, tying the game at 5-all.
“I was thinking we’ve got to get something big,” Freland said. “Obviously it was our last chance. I needed to start us off and get us going.”
Saydel intentionally loaded the bases, walking juniors Anna Shaver and Camryn Wignall. Foster walked it off on a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Schutte to win the game.
“I thought that since we didn’t have any outs, I just needed to get it in the air and get a sac or put it on the ground,” Foster said. “I like being in those positions, the scary and nervous positions.”
Junior Maya Hegwood went the distance on the mound, pitching all seven innings and earning the win. She allowed three earned runs on seven hits with no strikeouts and two walks.
Freland had three of the team’s six hits. Wignall, Foster and Johnson all had one hit, and Freland, Foster, Schutte and Johnson each collected one RBI. Schutte and Wignall both scored a pair of runs and walked once.
“We got fight in us and we’re going to win some games,” Bridges said. “No matter what happens, if we never give up and we never check out, because it’s not over until the last out is called, we’ve got a chance.”