Allen falters late in sweep

Allen Community College's softball team could not capitalize on a bases-loaded, no-out situation and wound up losing, 6-4, to North Central Missouri in extra innings Tuesday. The defeat capped a doubleheader sweep to drop ACC's record to 3-3.



March 3, 2021 - 9:51 AM

Allen Community College second baseman Bella Gravatt, left, throws to first base in front of teammate Hailee Lundine Tuesday. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

HUMBOLDT — Little problems turned into big problems for Allen Community College’s softball team Tuesday.

The Red Devils came up empty on a handful of late scoring chances, allowing North Central Missouri College to take advantage in a 6-4, nine-inning setback.

The defeat was the second of the day for Allen, which fell to North Central, 6-1, in the opener.

The losses drop Allen to 3-3 on the season. The Red Devils will host Des Moines Area Community College for a doubleheader Friday before traveling to Wichita next week for games against Northern Oklahoma College-Enid. Four games on March 12 and 13 will take ACC to Fayetteville, Ark., before Jayhawk Conference action opens March 18 at Johnson County.

“We have the potential to do really well in conference play,” Allen head coach Nicole Peters said. “It’s just a matter of fine-tuning some things and stringing things together. We have some tough competition coming up.”

Avoiding the pitfalls of Tuesday’s extra-inning affair is key.

Allen entered the bottom of the eighth trailing 4-3, but knotted the score on Bella Gravatt’s RBI double, scoring Aubrey Willis.

The Red Devils then loaded the bases with nobody out, but could not get the ball in play after North Central pitcher Casey Stout, who was dominant in game 1, was called on in relief late in the nightcap, and struck out the next three ACC batters.

The Pirates then broke the 4-4 deadlock in the next inning when Audrey Elifritz flared a single over the infield to score Erica Sandoval. A bases-loaded walk to Stout with two outs pushed across the all-important insurance run.

Stout continued her pitching dominance in the bottom of the ninth, retiring Allen in order with two strikeouts and a foul tip.

“We’ll learn from it, for sure,” Peters said. “To put in nine innings and not get a win is a learning experience. We know what we’ve got to fix and adjust.”

Andrea Wilson was the hard-luck loser for Allen. She scattered nine hits over her nine innings, allowing one earned run with three strikeouts.

Allen Community College’s Andrea Wilson delivers a pitch against North Central Missouri College Tuesday.Photo by Richard Luken

The Red Devils led 3-2 in the top of the sixth when North Central Missouri tied the score on a fielding error.

The early innings were more to Allen’s liking. Hailee Lundine’s sacrifice bunt scored Alayna Brown to open the scoring in the bottom of the first. North Central tied it in the second before Kinsey Steuwe blasted a solo shot in the second.

North Central responded in the third to tie the score, but a fielding error put the Red Devils back in front in the bottom of the inning.

Brown rapped out three singles for ACC, while Gravatt had a double and two singles. Steuwe’s home run and Cynae Wiley’s single were the only other hits for Allen.