NEW ULM - The Wabasso Rabbits giveth away, then taketh from the Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers defense.
In a wild affair, Wabasso posted its second victory against MVL this year in a 16-11 contest that had wild swings of lead changes. In the end, it was a balky Chargers defense that helped the Rabbits' cause.
With the score tied 1-1 after one inning, Wabasso scored five times in the second after multiple MVL errors to take a 6-1 lead.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Wabasso pitcher Callie Rohlik tosses a pitch during the Rabbits’ win Monday at Minnesota Valley Lutheran.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
Then it the Rabbits' turn to show some rust.
"We haven't had a game in two weeks," Wabasso coach Tiffany Eichten said. "We left the ball up in the strike zone and [MVL] hit the ball hard."
Indeed, it was the Chargers' Johanna Kettner who blasted a pitch over the left-field fence with the bases loaded to highlight a seven-run MVL second inning that gave it an 8-6 lead until the top of the fifth.
In that inning, Callie Rohlik led off with an infield hit, followed by a walk of Jennifer Rohlik and a bunt hit from Alison Benz to load the bases. An infield dribbler by Jennie Wotschke scored Callie Rohlik to make it 8-7.
Jennifer Rohlik scored to tie the game on a Becky Franta popout that dropped in fair territory. Benz scored later on a flyout by Shelby Taylor that let Wabasso regain the lead at 9-8.
The Rabbits extended the margin in the sixth when Callie Rohlik hit a double to right center to score Morgan Frank and Janessa Baune, both of whom had each singled. Jennifer Rohlik singled and came home later on a Wotschke base hit to make it 12-8.
Wabasso put the game away with a four-run seventh inning that started with Erin Liebl reaching on an error and going to third on a single by Frank.
Liebl made it 13-8 on a fly from Baune, with Frank coming home on a popup by Callie Rohlik that dropped between the Chargers infielders. Jennifer Rohlik walked, with Callie Rohlik making it 15-8 after a passed ball and wild pitch.
An infield hit by Benz scored Jennifer Rohlik to complete the Rabbits' scoring and a 16-8 cushion.
Kettner started a comeback for the Chargers in the bottom of the seventh by leading off with a single to right. After a walk to Shelby Hammerschmidt, Mary Kate Santelman's hit scored Kettner. Hammerschmidt and Santelman came home on consecutive wild pitches for the 16-11 final.
"The bottom line is 11 runs is enough to win a game and we need to focus on defense and helping our pitcher win," MVL coach Dave Biedenbender said. "The coaches can't tell the team what to do on every play."
Benz got the win for the 7-3 Rabbits, while Karissa Schlottman was handed the loss for the 2-12 Chargers.
Wabasso will play a doubleheader with Springfield at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Springfield. MVL will play at 5 p.m. on Tuesday at Sleepy Eye.