Lady Arrows Win Three, Drop Two

by Coach Chad Koep
The Ashby Arrow softball team welcomed the visiting Wheaton Warriors in a Pheasant Conference game Monday evening, May 15.
To start things off in the first inning, the Warriors lead off hitter Macee Libbesmeier reached base on an error and later advance to 3rd base after a couple of passed balls. Libbesmeirer came across to score after a RBI by Karli Conroy. After the wild start, the Arrow defense settled down and was able to get out of the inning trailing 1-0.
The Arrows responded well in their half of the 1st by bringing 11 batters to the plate and scoring a total of 7 times. Ashby recorded 5 hits in the inning with Courtney Koefod leading way getting on base twice reaching on an error and a base-hit. 
"Our defense has really looked sharp the last few games, but it was really encouraging to finally see our offense hammer the ball. We were aggressive at the plate all evening long and took advantage of runners in scoring position," stated Ashby head coach Chad Koep.
Both teams brought a runner home in the second inning bringing the score to 8-2 after two innings of play. After another 1 run inning by the Wheaton offense, the Arrows came to bat in their half of the 3rd and were able to score an additional 3 runs with Koefod, Mackenzie Ecker, and Mikayla Dahlen coming across home plate. The score after 3 innings stood at 11-3 in favor of Ashby.
Josey Ness pitched a scoreless 4th and 5th innings for the Arrows with a couple of strike-outs and relying on superb defense behind her. Leading the defensive effort was Koefod who recorded 5 assists at shortstop in the game.
After posting another 3 runs in the 4th inning, the Arrows expanded their lead to 14-3 which was how the game would end after 5 innings of play. 
"It was nice to be on the winning side of a rout as we had been the victims of them early in the season. We are continuing to play with a high level of confidence and look to carry that momentum into the final 3 games of the regular season and into the playoffs," concluded Koep.
Ashby was led offensively by Koefod who reached base all 4 times going 2-3 (1B, 2B, BB, and reached on an error), and Hannah Ras who went 1-2 (1B, BB) and scored twice. Scoring 3 times in the game was Mikayla Dahlen who reached on an error, drew a walk, and hit a base-hit. 
vs Ortonville —
The Ortonville Trojans and Ashby Arrows squared off in a double header Thursday night, May 18.  Due to wet field conditions in Ashby, the pair of games were played in Barrett.
Game 1 got off to a fast start as the Trojans were able to bat in 4 runs while the Arrows responded with a pair of their own in the 1st inning. Ortonville tacked on 2 more runs in the top of the 2nd while the Ashby offense failed to bring in Riley Zastrow who led off with a triple. 
Both defenses got into a groove over the next 2 inning as the scoring didn't resume until the top of the 5th inning when the Trojans added to their lead driving in a 2-out run. After 4 1/2 innings of play, the Arrows trailed by a score of 7-2.
Ashby finally got their timing down in the bottom of the 5th scoring a total of 5 runs included Courtney Koefod's second run of the game.
"We dug an early hole for ourselves with a poor 1st inning, but I was proud with how we continued to fight throughout the game and were able to battle back and eventually tie the game up at 7 after 5 innings," said Arrows Coach Chad Koep.
Two more runners crossed the plate for the Trojans in the 6th and that proved to be the difference as Ortonville went on to win game 1 by a score of 9-7.
The Arrows were led offensively by Riley Zastrow who went 1-2 (3B, BB), and Abbi Evavold who also reached base twice.
Game 2 was another back and forth battle with the Arrows getting off to the early lead this time as Koefod and Mackenzie Ecker each got a base-hit and later came around to score in the 1st inning of play. Ashby's defense responded by protecting that lead for the next 2 inning while making some really difficult plays in the field.
"These girls continue to amaze me each and every game. Some of these plays that they're making are not at all routine, but they have worked so hard this year on technique that they just make it look easy," said Koep.
The Trojans, however, didn't keep their bats quiet for long as their strong offense blasted the ball all over the field and took the lead from the Arrows at 3-2 after 3 innings. 
Not giving up, the Arrows found a way to bring a couple of runners home in the 4th inning as Zastrow and Kalista Aamot crossed the plate allowing the Arrows to reclaim the lead at 4-3.
Unfortunately for the Arrows, the Trojans were not to be outdone scoring 5 runs in the 5th inning that displayed some magnificent power by the Ortonville squad. The Trojans went onto win the ballgame by a score of 8-4.
"Ortonville is a really good team. In fact, they are one of the better teams we've faced all season long. We gave them a fight and know that we shot ourselves in the foot too many times. You can't expect to come out on top against a great team unless you put together a stellar performance. We came close each game but still struggled to play perfect for the entire 7 innings," concluded Koep.
The Arrows began Section 6A playoffs Tuesday, May 23rd.