Knights roll into district semifinals

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By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

The Fremont-Mills softball team rolled into the Class 1A regional semifinals for the third straight year on Friday with a 11-2 victory over Sidney.

The Knights (26-9 overall, 12-0 in the Corner Conference) smacked 15 hits off Sidney starter Darrian Slater. Mindy Lorimor and Emily Smith each had three hits and drove in a run. Kendall Fichter went 2-for-5 and drove in three runs.

Lorimor was again dominant in the circle, striking out 11, allowing seven hits and just one earned run in the victory.

The Knights were to take on Treynor in the regional semifinals at Treynor on Monday. The winner of that game advanced to the regional final on Wednesday at Atlantic for the right to go to state.

Fremont-Mills 7,

Essex-South Page 0

The Fremont-Mills softball team executed a “small ball” clinic the first three innings and got a dominant pitching performance from Mindy Lorimor in a 7-0 District 8 victory over Essex-South Page last Wednesday.

The Knights (25-9 overall, 12-0 in the Corner Conference) built a 6-0 lead after three innings and sat on their lead as Lorimor went to work for her fifth straight shutout.

“Early I thought we did really well,” said Fremont-Mills coach Kyle Fichter. “But as the game went on it turned to what we've kind of been seeing the last few weeks where the offense takes off on us and we don't execute down the stretch. But overall, I was happy with the whole game.”

The Knights wasted little time getting to Essex hurler Haley Funderman, sending eight to plate and scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning. After Madison Powers and Melissa Kesterson both bunted aboard, Mindy Lorimor doubled to score Powers. A single by Kendall Fichter plated Kesterson and a sacrifice by fifth hitter, Lynde Madison drove in two more runs for the early 3-0 lead.

Fremont-Mills pushed three more across in the third inning on two infield hits and a bunt. Throughout the game's first four inning, Fichter’s crew manufactured runs by bunts, legging out infield hits and smart base running. Eight of the Knights’ nine hits were singles.

“I was very happy with our first three or four innings,” said Fichter. “At this point in the year we’re trying to play our ‘district style’ of softball and we did a pretty good job of that early. We get that five or six run lead and we fall asleep. We’re not used to staying focused the whole way through and we don’t realize yet how fast teams can jump on us.”

Over the final four innings, the Knights’ offense seemed to dwindle, getting two hits and stranding six runners over that stretch.

“We need execution, to stay focused and pay attention. Some signs were give by me and not picked up by our batters and so forth. When we get five or six runs ahead and Mindy is pitching as well as she has lately we have a tendency to fall asleep.”

Lorimor was nearly unhittable on the night, striking out seven of the first nine she faced and not allowing a base runner until Annie Lindburg drew a fifth inning walk. The Trojanettes didn’t?t get a hit until the seventh inning.

“Every year, at this time of year, you see the real Mindy,” he said. “She’s such a competitor she just turns it up a notch.”

Lorimor finished with 12 strikeouts and allowed just two hits -- both in the seventh inning -- in improving to 24-7 on the season. Lorimor added two hits at the plate.

Fremont-Mills 6,

Stanton 0

Mindy Lorimor drove in three runs and Kendall Fichter two for Fremont-Mills in a 6-0 victory over Stanton last Tuesday.

Lorimor tossed a complete-game, four hitter in the circle for the win.

Fremont-Mills 12,

East Mills 0

Mindy Lorimor tossed a perfect-game in a 12-0 Fremont-Mills victory over East Mills on July 2.

Lorimor fanned eight of the nine batters she faced and did not allow a Wolverine baserunner in the three-inning victory.

Lorimor added two hits and two RBIs at the plate.

Madison Powers chipped in with two hits.