Sweetwater rallies to outscore Merkel

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

The Lehnert-to-Lehnert sister pitching combination is back at Sweetwater.
Kara Lehnert pitched the first four innings Tuesday against Merkel and left with a 9-8 lead. Her younger sister Elli then made her first appearance of the season following ACL surgery.
Elli gave up a run in her first inning, but got credit for the win after shutting out Merkel over the next two as her team broke the tie for a 10-9 victory, thanks to a run in the sixth on an RBI double by Kyla Daniel.
Daniel’s two-out double brought home Jazzy Villa, who singled with one out for Sweetwater (5-2).
In the top of the seventh, the Lady Badgers put the potential tying run on base with one out until Lehnert got the last two outs to end the game.
Head coach Tim Scherwin is happy to have both sisters back on the team after having just Kara available for the first few weeks of the season for Sweetwater as its No. 1 pitcher.
“Getting Elli back into the fold really provided a boost for us,” Scherwin said.
“We are a different team when we have the parts and pieces in place,” the coach continued. “The great part about this group is (that) contributions come from a variety of people and we saw that tonight.”
Prior to Daniel’s heroics, Sweetwater batted around in the bottom of the first inning for a 4-3 lead, and did it again in the fourth when the Lady Mustangs scored five runs for a 9-8 lead over Merkel — this after the Lady Badgers had scored three runs in both the first and second innings and twice in the fourth to build an 8-4 advantage.
Sweetwater’s four-run first began with a double by leadoff hitter Bri Moriel, who scored the first run, and Daniel cut Merkel’s lead to 3-2 with an RBI single before Kaci Webb blasted a two-run single to give Sweetwater its first lead.
In the fourth inning, singles by Kara Lehnert and Marlee Hicks and a double by Moriel cut it to 8-6.
The Lady Badgers turned a double play, but Villa singled to cut the lead to 8-7. Blayke Bewley doubled to put runners at second and third, and Daniel’s double scored Villa and Bewley to give the Lady Mustangs a 9-8 lead and finish the rally.
The JV won 11-0 later on Tuesday night against Merkel's JV.

Elli Lehnert is pictured in Sweetwater's game with Merkel. She was the winning pitcher after coming in to relieve Kara Lehnert in the fifth inning.
Photo by Kevin Wright