Courtnee Griffin, Shenandoah

Shenandoah junior Courtnee Griffin stretches toward the ball at first base during the Fillies' regional tournament loss to Red Oak, Thursday, July 16.

SHENANDOAH – The Shenandoah Fillies left nine runners on base, seven of those over the first four innings, in a 7-1 loss to Red Oak, Thursday, July 16.

In a first round regional tournament game that was moved back a day because of wet grounds, the Fillies couldn’t find the big hit with runners in scoring position all night and gave up one big inning in seeing their season end.

“We couldn’t find that one hit early in the game,” Shenandoah head coach Aaron Burdorf said. “We had people on and in scoring position early and couldn’t find a hit. When you leave nine people on base and you can’t get that key hit, and we have all season, it was one night. It didn’t happen for us and it did for them.”

It was a scoreless game entering the fourth inning when a walk, a hit batsman and a wild pitch started the inning for the Tigers, putting runners at second and third with no outs. After a strikeout, Cami Porter, Alexa McCunn and Lexi Johnson all singled, driving in a run each to give Red Oak a 3-0 lead. Shenandoah pitcher Delanie Voshell struck out Chloe Johnson for the second out of the inning, but then Kyndal Kells slammed a pitch well over the outfield fence and just inside the left field foul pole for a three-run home run, suddenly extending Red Oak’s lead to a comfortable 6-0 margin. The home run was Kells’ fourth of the season.

Shenandoah scored its run in the bottom of the fifth. Lydia Morales walked and advanced to second on a Natalie Gilbert single, and then scored on an error.

Red Oak answered with a run in the top of the sixth.

Both teams had opportunities early. Morales and Nichole Gilbert singled in the first but were stranded at the corners. A Sidda Rodewald single and walks to Sara Morales and Delanie Voshell loaded the bases in the second, but the Fillies couldn’t score.

Courtnee Griffin and Rodewald walked to open the fourth but were left on second and third. In the scoring inning, Natalie Gilbert was left on third base.

Rodewald singled to lead off the sixth but was unable to advance past second. Then, in Shenandoah’s final chance, Nichole Gilbert walked and then Natalie Gilbert made what was probably Shenandoah’s best contact all night, but the ball proceeded straight into the second baseman’s glove. She promptly threw to first for the double play, ending Shenandoah’s frustrating evening.

“We didn’t adjust very well at the plate,” said Burdorf. “We were out on the front foot a bit and hit some fly balls. The hardest hit ball of the game ended the game, and that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Rodewald reached base all three times, including two hits, to lead Shenandoah’s offense.

Red Oak left the bases loaded in the first and had additional opportunities early and late to score more as well. Alexa McCunn and Porter led the Tigers with three hits each as they advanced to a regional semifinal.

Voshell struck out nine Tigers in the complete game effort. She gave up 11 hits, four walks and seven runs, six earned.

The season ended with 12 wins in 18 games for the Fillies in Burdorf’s second season as head coach. He feels the program continues to move in the right direction.

“We were learning every day,” said Burdorf. “We didn’t get a ton of practice time because we filled our nights with games. We got a lot of young kids some key opportunities on the bases to learn and get quality bats in junior varsity games.”

The loss ended the careers of four seniors, Claire Adkins, Natalie Gilbert, Nichole Gilbert and Lydia Morales, earlier than many expected. Burdorf said the program has some big shoes to fill in trying to replace that group and he was glad they were given one final opportunity to play.

“They missed out on their spring season, but we got an opportunity to play and make more memories,” said Burdorf. “Every one of them was willing to give effort the last two years for me and all four are good leaders. They worked hard and wanted to be successful. I think all four have bright futures ahead of them.”

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