LACROSSE | The Kouts bats needed three innings before jump starting in the opening round of the Class A softball sectional, but once they got going, they didn’t slow down.
The Fillies, who mustered just one hit in the first three innings, scored seven runs on seven hits to rally to beat LaCrosse 7-5 in Monday’s sectional opener at LaCrosse.
Kouts took its first lead of the game with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Emily Kolb tied the game with a one-out single to left, and she came around to score the go-ahead run from first on a LaCrosse throwing error.
“They tried pitching around (Kolb) quite a bit until they got in a position where we had too many runners on and they couldn’t walk her again,” Kouts coach Tim McNeill said.
Tigers third baseman Jailynn Goodwin fielded a ground ball for the force-out at third, but her throw to first was off target, allowing Kolb to score.
Emma Leatherman followed with a single to plate Alexis Neary to give Kouts (8-13) a two-run lead.
LaCrosse (10-13) put the tying runs on base in the top of the seventh with one out, but Kylie Bruce retired the final two hitters on a fly ball to center and a strikeout to end the game.
Kouts scored two runs in the fifth to get within one. Megan Heinold had a run-scoring single, and Kaylee Heimberg drove in a run with a groundout.
“One thing about this team is they are very resilient,” McNeill said. “They didn’t get down. They were down in the score, but they still came back.”
The Tigers scored three runs in the top of the fifth to break a 2-2 tie. Gabbie Sievers had a run scoring single, and two more runs scored on a Kouts fielding error.
“It was a real roller coaster,” LaCrosse coach Dave Amor said. “We were up and then we were down.”
Sievers reached base four times and scored twice for the Tigers.
Leatherman and Heinold each had two hits for Kouts.