MINONK - Down 4-0, Fieldcrest came back to stun Heart of Illinois Conference guest Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 7-6 Friday afternoon at Veteran's Park.
Heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Knights (8-7, 4-2) trailed 4-3, but they went on top with two swings of the bat. To start, number nine hitter Reagan Ruestman connected on a solo home run to left field before lefty and leadoff batter Alaina Tjaden went the opposite way for a big fly off Falcons' starter and Southern Illinois commit Madi Eberle. Fieldcrest tacked on two more runs for a 7-4 advantage.
"We needed those extra insurance runs," pointed out Knights' coach Liz Kay. "You always need more than one I always say."
It proved to be gigantic because Eberle's two-run shot to left in the top of the seventh pulled GCMS (11-5, 6-2) within 7-6. Fieldcrest's Alivia Tjaden struck out the next three hitters to cement the victory. The senior finished with 10 punchouts on the day.
With a gusty north wind blowing out to left and center, the teams combined to hit four homers. Maci Biefeldt hit a dinger with one aboard in the second to help the Falcons build their 4-0 lead. The loss snapped a seven-game GCMS win streak.
Notes: The coaches, Kay and first-year GCMS skipper Kara Smith, were teammates at Illinois State. Kay graduated in 2013, while the former Kara Repp graduated two years later. Kay is a native of Bartlett, a western Chicago suburb, while Smith's hometown is downstate Casey, located 80 miles southeast of Decatur.
See article on April 25 Woodford County Journal newsstands