LOWELL |Good thing for Lowell that senior first baseman Emma Littrell decided to come back to the softball team this season.
She stepped away from the program last year, but came back, and she came through big time for the Red Devils on Wednesday in an 8-7 win over Boone Grove in nine innings.
“She asked us if she could come back and we gladly accepted,” Lowell coach Pete Iussig said.
Littrell was the hero from the first inning until the last, but it was her heroics in the seventh and ninth that directly won the game for the Red Devils (4-1).
With one out in the seventh, the left-handed hitter blasted a solo home run over the right field fence to tie the game. Two innings later, after Kaitlyn Marshall reached on an error, Littrell lined a single to left-center field to bring home the winning run.
Littrell also had a double and RBI in a five-run first inning, and scored a run after reaching on an error to lead off the third inning.
“It’s a game of fractions of an inch, and she hit that ball perfectly,” Boone Grove coach Ron Saunders said of Littrell’s blast off pitcher Angie Marcheschi, who came into the game in the fifth inning. “I told the girls after the seventh inning, it didn’t matter to me what happened after that, we won the game in my mind.”
The reason he wasn’t quite as upset as you would think was that his pitcher is a freshman, and he was starting three other freshmen in the field.
“The kids could have laid down and died after being down 5-0 and they didn’t,” Saunders said.
The game was anything but boring. Lowell opened with the first six batters getting base hits on its way to five runs. But Boone Grove (0-2) came back with six runs on six hits in the top of the third inning to take the lead.
Lowell starting pitcher Brandi Faverty pitched well until that inning. She also got in trouble in the fourth, giving up an unearned run before Brooke Cummins came into the game in relief the get a strikeout.
That was the first of five straight strikeouts for Cummins on her way to retiring 11 in a row to keep the Devils in the game. She finished with 11 strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings, and her third victory of the season without a loss.
“Interesting game, huh?” Iussig said. “I think Boone Grove adjusted well to Faverty, and I probably waited too long to switch pitchers.”