Huskies take out two top-ranked softball teams

Sweet Home 6, Newport 5

The Huskies capped off their week with a 6-5 win over second-ranked Newport on the softball field at home on Friday.

“This game was a real battle,” Coach Steve Hummer said. “They came out and got ahead early.

“(Pitcher) Makenzie (Marchbanks) was a bit off, and they put a couple of hits together with some walks and got out on us.”

Marchbanks struck out 13 batters, walked three and hit two batters.

Newport led 3-0 after two innings.

“The kids did not panic and did not doubt the outcome,” Hummer said.

In the bottom of the third, Becky Spencer got Sweet Home’s first hit of the game and Paige Niemi followed it with a single. The two first year varsity players’ hits seemed to set the tone as Michelle Cliver and Jessalyn Seiber singled and then Marchbanks drew a walk to set the table for Idahna (Huenergardt’s triple, which put the Huskies up 5-3.

Newport, the second-ranked 4A team in the state, battled back in the sixth; but Niemi ame through with a single, Cliver laid down a “perfect” bunt, Hummer said, and Marchbanks walked again to load the bases. Huenergardt again came through with a single to win the game in the bottom of the seventh.”

Huenergardt went 2-4 with a triple and four RBIs. Niemi went 2-3, and Cliver went 2-4.

“We had a lot of contributions on offense and defense,” Hummer said. (Lacey) Mink made an outstanding catch to get us out an inning, Mac showed a lot of heart, and we just competed hard.

“Beating two ranked opponents back to back has given us a lot of confidence, and now we need to keep working hard and get better.”

The Huskies were scheduled to travel to Central on Tuesday to face the fifth-ranked Panthers, their third ranked opponent in a row.

Newport 210 002 0 – 5 6 0

Sweet Home 005 000 1 – 6 8 1

Sweet Home 10, North Marion 0

The Huskies opened the week beating ninth-ranked North Marion 10-0 in six innings at home.

“We played very well tonight,” Hummer said. “Our defense was solid, Kenz (Marchbanks) pitched well and we played solid defense behind her. I can see the girls becoming more and more confident and we are really starting to play with a lot of confidence.”

Sara Brocard started the scoring for the Huskies with a home run in the second inning and “we just didn’t look back.” Hummer said.

Marchbanks hit the ball hard all night, Seiber added two more hits, Spencer picked up two RBIs.

“Cliver just continues to lead.” Hummer said. Niemi and Mink did not get any hits tonight but hit the ball hard a couple times right at people.

At the plate, Seiber and Marchbanks both hit doubles. Marchbanks also hit a triple, and Brocard hit a home run. Huenergardt also had a hit.

On the mound, Marchbanks struck out nine batters. She walked one.

“North Marion was ranked ninth so this is a quality win,” Hummer said. “We were ranked 10th this week. This game really gives us some momentum going into Friday’s game with Newport. They are ranked second and this our first league game. We need to set the tone in the league, and I think we are ready.

North Marion 000 000 – 0 2 1

Sweet Home 015 202 – 10 8 1