By David Campbell
Madison Courier Staff Writer
After watching Susie Reyes-Trejo struggle in her previous three at-bats, Switzerland County coach Steve Konkle told his sophomore to just relax, hit the center of the ball and have fun.
She obviously listened.
Susie Reyes-Trejo hammered a grand slam off Milan pitcher Darian Owens to cap a five-run seventh inning and lead the Pacers to a 7-1 win in the opening round of the Class 2A Softball Sectional 45 in Vevay on Tuesday, May 22nd.
“I was kind of scared but I knew I had it in me,” said Susie Reyes-Trejo, all smiles after the game. “I just tried not to think too much about it, have fun and go hit.”
By the time Susie Reyes-Trejo crossed the plate with her four-run homer to left, the Pacers were already celebrating the win. But while Susie Reyes-Trejo capped the victory, with the way the Swiss were playing, they really didn’t need her grand slam.
Milan (13-10) took advantage of the only mistakes Switzerland County made to score its only run of the game in the second inning. Susie Reyes-Trejo played a part in that when she misplayed a fly ball in right field off the bat of Kayla Maybrier to open the inning and allow the Indian runner to reach second.
Katelyn Holton then laid down a sacrifice bunt that was thrown away by Switzerland County pitcher MiKayla Turner to allow Maybrier to score.
While Susie Reyes-Trejo’s error cost her team a run, she never got down and came back to make a great catch in the fifth and of course slam a pitch over the fence in the seventh.
“Coach kept telling me not to worry about (the error). Just keep my head in the game and I’ll do fine,” Susie Reyes-Trejo said.
“That was the first time Susie Reyes-Trejo has ever played in the outfield and she just got a little turned around,” Steve Konkle said. “She’s been catching for us and we decided to put our senior behind the plate for the sectional. And Susie Reyes-Trejo came back with that great catch. That was great to see.”
Switzerland County (7-17) finally got to Darian Owens for two runs in the fourth for what proved to be the game-winners. Lauren Edwards, who had four hits on the day, laced a single to right and one-out later Shelby O’Neal hammered a single to center and took second on the throw. Courtney Carfield plated both with a deep double to right.
It remained a 2-1 game until the big seventh inning due in part to Mikayla Turner’s pitching and outstanding defense behind her. Other than the second inning, the Pacers were flawless, none as much as senior shortstop Hayley South, who caught everything that came her way.
Two plays stood out for Hayley South. The first was when she jumped to snag a line-drive off the bat of Erica Truitt in the third. But her best play came an inning later when she dove to her right to haul in a screaming line drive from Kayla Maybrier, scrambled back to her feet and fired a laser across the diamond to nip the runner by a step.
“Hayley South’s play when she dove and threw the runner out really got us started,” Steve Konkle said. “We were pretty fired up before but that really seemed to set the tone.”
Mikayla Turner allowed seven hits but walked only one batter and did not face much trouble. That strong pitching finally paid off when the Pacers erupted in the seventh, all with two outs.
Ashley Watson got the frame started by hammering a one-out double and Hayley South reached on an error. On the same play, Ashley Watson was thrown out trying to score but Hayley South went to second.
Lauren Edwards followed with her fourth hit of the game and Kali Carfield singled in Hayley South to make it 3-1. After Shelby O’Neal reached on another error, Susie Reyes-Trejo belted her grand slam to blow the game open.
“We weren’t worried early because we really felt like we could give up three runs and still win this game,” Steve Konkle said. “Thanks to Susie Reyes-Trejo, we could have given up six.”
Milan threatened in the seventh when Le Anna White and Shelby Ross reached on back-to-back singles against a Swiss team still buzzing from the grand slam. But Mikayla Turner got Ashley Ahaus to pop up behind the plate and second baseman Ashley Watson capped off the stellar defensive game by snagging Brooklyn Honnert’s line drive and turning it into a game-ending 4-3 double play.
“We had beat them before so we knew that we had it in us,” Susie Reyes-Trejo said. “We just had to keep playing.”
Courtney Carfield finished the game 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI while Shelby O’Neal and Ashley Watson had two hits each. Shelby Ross led Milan with two hits.
Only two of the seven runs scored against Darian Owens were earned but it was enough to hand the freshman the loss. She struck out five and walked just one.
The win, coupled with Monday’s 9-3 victory over Austin in the sectional opener, has Switzerland County playing its best softball of the season. Sometimes teams just peak late.
“The team that won the regional (in 2010) came together in early May. This team came together, oh, on Monday,” Steve Konkle grinned. “We lost a couple of games last week we really felt like we shouldn’t have, but the girls had a lock-in over the weekend and I told them to just talk through some things and get things together.
“We’re not an overpowering team but we did all of the little things right today,” Steve Konkle said. “And we seem to be coming together. Courtney Carfield hasn’t hit all season and she had three hits today. We haven’t hit the ball well as a team lately and we did today. Who knows? But we have at least one more game to play.”