St. Bede 1A Softball Regional: St. Bede 3, Serena 1
PERU — Some things have changed for the St. Bede Lady Bruins softball team this season.
Last year’s 2A regional and sectional champs are bumped down to 1A for this year’s postseason, and though the roster is pretty much the same, the road has been a little bumpier, with St. Bede ending the regular season with a record of 15-8.
What hasn’t changed is the ability of their bats and gloves to make big plays, as shown in a 3-1 victory over Serena Huskers (6-20) at the Academy’s Tower Field Tuesday.
With the win, the Lady Bruins advanced to Friday’s title game vs. Earlville-Leland. Visit www.bcrnews.com/sports for results.
The good news for the Lady Bruins was getting three runs on the scoreboard right away in the first inning.
Maggie Sons (1-3, 1 run), Claire Morrow, and Gianna Elias (2-3, 1 run) loaded up the bases, with Hayley Short sending Sons home with an RBI single, Ellyn Nowakowski scoring Morrow on a sacrifice, and a double by Abbie May (1-3, 1 RBI) got Elias across the plate for a quick 3-0 St. Bede lead.
“Well, started out really fast, we had a lot of energy,” St. Bede coach Rob Ruppert said. “We put some pressure on them with our base running, and we had a hit when we needed it.
“You can score a couple runs in the first inning and it puts the other team on their heels a little bit, so we did a good job there. Of course, Abbie (May) threw well today, so we rode that.”
The bad news was the Lady Bruins would be held scoreless for the rest of the game.
“You know, after that first inning I thought, ‘OK, we can put a couple on the board here and a couple on the board there,’ but you’ve got to give them credit, they made plays, too.
“It’s been kind of the story of our season. We haven’t hit real well and scored a lot of runs, but our defense is getting better, and we’ll do what we gotta do.”
St. Bede senior pitcher Abbie May was the leader and the anchor of the Lady Bruins’ defense against the Huskers, striking out 11 Serena batters while allowing only one run (unearned), two hits and no walks in working all seven innings.
“I just placed the ball where I needed to,” May said. “Just taking it pitch by pitch, and not rushing.”
May’s dominance on the mound was a concern the Huskers made sure to focus on.
“We knew coming into this game, they’re a phenomenal team,” Serena coach Kelly Baker said. “We knew their pitcher was going to keep us off balance. From our scouting, we knew she likes to throw that rise ball, so we did a lot of practicing with that yesterday.”
Offensively, the only time the Huskers posed a threat was in the fourth inning with Katie Baker and Susan Tuftie reaching base thanks to errors in the St. Bede infield. Tuftie’s hit would score Baker for Serena’s only run of the game.
“I’d like to see us hit a little better, but overall I was very happy with our effort tonight,” Baker said. “I thought we did a great job against a solid St. Bede team.”