Prairie softball notes: Quite a debut for freshman

Bridget Guiney.

Might want to remember that name.

A freshman, Guiney started her varsity softball career with a home run in her first at-bat.

Oh, and it happened to be in the Class 3A District 4 tournament championship game.

Seriously, it was her first varsity game. JV call-ups usually are there for bench support. Maybe get in the game as a courtesy runner or a late-inning substitute in a blowout.

But Guiney was in the starting lineup, as the designated player. (Or what those baseball people call designated hitter.)

So in the second inning Friday, Guiney went up to the plate as a no-name hitter. And then she made a name for herself, crushing the ball over fence.

“I was really nervous. I didn’t really think about,” she said. “I just swung.”

She had a feeling she got it pretty good, but she was not going to take any chances.

“I sprinted to first to make sure.”

She jogged the rest of the way.

Guiney said she is just thrilled to be part of the team. I think the Falcons are thrilled to have her there, too.

Quite the comeback. Or comebacks — This game had a little bit of everything. Plenty of scoring. A lot of hitting. A bunch of errors. And even some great defensive plays.

The scoring is what really will be remembered from this game. Runs were scored in 12 of the 14 half-innings.

Kelso went three-up, three-down in the first inning. That was the last time anybody saw any of that nonsense.

Prairie led 1-0 after the first, then 3-1 after the second.

Kelso, though, responded with four in the third and maintained a lead until the bottom of the seventh inning.

Here’s something really interesting: Prairie scored in every inning of the game, yet did not lead for most of the game.

Prairie completed the comeback when Nicole O’Haver drove in the winning run with a two-out single in the seventh inning.

“I was ‘Yes!’ I was so happy,” she said.

Strange call — I rarely get on game officials, but I saw something Friday that was more than just an average was-she-safe-or-out call.

During Kelso’s four-run third inning, the Hilanders had two runners in and two outs when it looked like it would be the end of the inning. A ground ball fielded, and a throw to first base. Prairie’s Holly Kersanty, playing first, caught the ball in “sno-cone” fashion. Probably two-thirds of the ball was visible above the webbing of the glove.

The umpire called safe, ruling that Kersanty had juggled the ball before making the catch.

Prairie came out to argue, and then the three umpires got together to determine if they were going to change the call.

At this time, I was thinking Prairie had a shot to win the argument. And here’s why: Anybody who has played softball or baseball knows that if you juggle a sno-cone catch, the ball is either going to fall out of the glove, or more likely, because of gravity, fall into the webbing of the glove. It’s not just going to stick there, sno-cone wise, if it had been juggled.

As Ron Burgundy would say, “It’s science!”

Anyway, the umpires stuck with the original call, another run scored, and one more would score later in the inning.

The umpire would have been better off saying the runner beat the throw — even though she didn’t — than say the fielder juggled the ball. There was no juggle.

Most difficult inning to comprehend — That’s easy. It had to be the top of the 7th. Kelso loaded the bases with no outs. And then did not score.

Kelso scored a run without a hit in the second inning. Scored four with six hits and a juggle call in the fourth inning. Used another error and two hits to score in the fourth. Got walked, took advantage of an error, and scored on a sac fly in the sixth.

In fact, Kelso scored all nine of its runs with two outs.

But in the seventh inning, up by one run, the Hilanders loaded the bases with no outs and did not score.

That tells you it was Prairie’s day.

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