TABOR - Essex pitcher Haley Fundermann held Fremont-Mills scoreless through six innings while the Trojan offense smacked 13 hits to end the Knights’ season with a 9-3 victory in the Class 1A, Region 8 softball quarterfinals last Wednesday.
Fundermann, who did not pitch in Monday’s opening round victory over Nishnabotna, scattered seven hits and struck out five to record her first win over the Knights in three starts this season.
The Knights’ runs came in the bottom of the seventh when Taryn Williams smacked her team-leading seventh home run of the season to score all three runs.
Kendall Fichter finished with two hits and Brandi Beem, Sydney Esary, Delaney Langfelt had one hit each.
Esary took the loss in the circle allowing six hits and eight runs (two earned).
The Knights close their season 14-10 overall and 8-4 in the Corner Conference.
Taryn Williams homered and drove in four runs for Fremont-Mills in a 13-4 Class 1A, Region 8 opening round victory over Sidney last Monday.
The Knights plated a run in the first inning and four more in the second to take control early.
“I thought we played a good all-around game, especially early,” said Fremont-Mills coach Kyle Fichter. “I don’t know if we lost interest or it was the humidity but we hit a lull in the middle innings. But overall, I thought we played fundamental softball and this time of year, that will win you games.”
Trailing 5-1 in the top of the fourth, the Cowgirls threatened to further slide into the Knight lead after loading the bases with one out. But Fremont-Mills’ starter Sydney Esary induced a pair of groundouts to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Emily Smith drew a leadoff walk and Kendal Fichter singled, setting the table for Williams. The sophomore belted a 1-1 pitch to right-center field for her co-team leading sixth home run of the season.
Sidney took advantage of two Esary walks, a single and an error to plate three runs before Coach Fichter went to his bullpen. Junior Madison Powers came on the sixth to slam the door on the Cowgirls. The lefthander struck out four, didn’t allow a hit and faced just one over the minimum.
“She’s really been pitching well lately,” Coach Fichter said. “She doesn’t put pressure on herself and throws what she needs to throw.”
The Knights finished with seven hits but they drew 11 walks and stole three bases.
“That’s good for us,” Coach Fichter said. “Years ago when I first started we’d draw 10 walks for the year. Usually we have trouble with slower pitchers because we have trouble waiting but we were patient at the plate today.”
Kendal Fichter added three hits and three RBIs for the Knights.