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Abby Stoffa’s walk-off single leads DeKalb comeback against Sycamore

DeKALB — Down six runs at one point to rival Sycamore, DeKalb catcher Emma Friedlund said the Barbs remained confident.

The confidence paid off with a three-run seventh to complete the comeback against the Spartans, with Friedlund scoring the go-ahead run from second on a two-out single by Abby Stoffa for a 11-10 nonconference win.

“We knew we were going to come back,” Friedlund said. “There was no way we were losing this game. We were fighting all the way through no matter what it took and we did just that.”

The Barbs (2-4-1) trailed 10-8 heading into the final frame. Jaelyn Latimer got the Spartans (2-11) in order in the top of the inning, including setting down Paige Collie and Tia Durst.

The Sycamore leadoff and No. 2 hitters, Collie and Durst hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning then again in the fourth off Latimer to push the Sycamore lead to 9-3.

“That was a big moment cause it was probably their two best hitters,” Stoffa said. “It was great to see them get out and we had a lot of energy after that.”

With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Katelyn Kolkebeck reached on an error and scored on a triple into the right-field corner by Amanda DuBeau. Friedlund followed with a single to tie things up.

With two outs and Friedlund on second, Stoffa hit a soft liner that fell just onto the grass. Center fielder Chelsea Smith charged and came home to try to throw out Friedlund.

“Two outs, anything hit in general I’m scoring,” Friedlund said. “I’m running, I’m not the fastest, we all know that. But I’m cranking on the wheels and going in for a hard slide.”

Stoffa said she was just looking to put the ball in play.

“I was looking really for anything I could make solid contact with and drive it hard instead of a ground out,” Stoffa said. “It’s pretty awesome. It was definitely a fun game.”

Sycamore led 10-5 after five. In the sixth, the Barbs scored three runs, two of them unearned. Kolkebeck and DuBeau started the inning by reaching on errors – Sycamore made six errors in the game, DeKalb three. Friedlund singled to score Kolkebeck, then both DuBeau and Kolkebeck scored on a double by Ava Jensen.

“We’re not the staff that’s going to strike out 10 a game,” Sycamore coach Jill Carpenter said. “We rely on defense. Defense can be questionable at times. We’re still learning how to play defense a little bit. We needed to put some more runs on the board there at the end. Even if we scored one that probably would have broke them a little bit and we just didn’t get it done.”

Liv King then hit Stoffa to put two on and no outs, but she pitched the way out of the jam by getting the next three DeKalb hitters.

When Latimer set down the Spartans in order the next inning, it was the first 1-2-3 inning of the game and the first time Collie and Durst both made outs in the same inning.

“We’ve got the top of our lineup up and they’ve been doing stuff all game,” Carpenter said. “But I said to the kids, you can’t rely on one or two people to put you on their back and win it and be perfect. It’s not reality and other people need to participate and be difference makers. You look at the seventh and it’s like, this is great. But they had four home runs between the two of them already. What do you expect from them? They’re going to make outs sometimes.”

Collie finished 3 for 5 with a double, two home runs, three runs and three RBIs. Durst was 3 for 5 with two homers, three runs and two RBIs.

Emily Puentes added two hits and scored twice of the Spartans, and Brooklyn Snodgrass had a two-run single in the first and then scored to stake Sycamore to a 3-0 lead.

For DeKalb, Kolkebeck was 1 for 5 but scored three times. DuBeau was 3 for 5 and scored four times, while Friedlund scored three runs in a 4-for-5 game, driving in two runs.

Jensen had a two-run double in the third to put the Barbs on the board, then scored on a groundout by Stoffa to make the score 5-3 after three. Jensen had two hits – both two-run doubles – and scored once. Stoffa had one hit and two RBIs. Bell Barker went 3 for 4 for DeKalb with a double.

Latimer pitched all seven innings for the win, allowing nine earned and 11 hits, walking four and striking out five. King took the loss, allowing six runs, two earned, in 2 2/3 innings.

“We had fire from inning one,” Friedlund said. “Everyone did their job at some point in the game. We played as a team. That’s what it comes down to and we fought all the way through.”

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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