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Rebels win rematch with Wolverines, 7-2

July 17, 2016
ROSS THEDE , Reinbeck Courier

GLADBROOK - Relegated to the outfield to give her arm a break, Gladbrook-Reinbeck senior pitcher Madison White was ready for the rematch even before the Rebels' loss at Green Mountain-Garwin became official.

Seven days before meeting in the opening round of Class 1A Region 6 play, Gladbrook-Reinbeck fell 15-3 in four innings to GMG. Back in the circle on Tuesday night, White helped the Rebels get their revenge.

White struck out seven, did not walk a batter, scattered four hits and matched her career-high with four RBIs as Gladbrook-Reinbeck advanced to tonight's regional quarterfinals with a 7-2 triumph against the Wolverines.

"I was in the outfield and I was like, 'I can't wait until we get back here, we're going to stick it to them,'" said White. "It's our field, we decide how this game's going to end."

White took a no-hitter into the fourth inning only to see it and the shutout end. After Madi Krull gained GMG's first hit with a chopper off White's glove, Kyla Wilkening reached on a fielder's choice and Kelsey Vaverka belted a triple to deep right field. A passed ball allowed Vaverka's courtesy runner, Mable Dieleman, to score, and the Wolverines were in front of the same team they 12-runned six days earlier.

The first shift in the scoreboard lights only seemed to ignite the Rebels' bats. Marissa Berendes and Megan Swanson started the top of the fifth with singles, but Reagan Skovgard's grounder hit Berendes' heel as she dashed for third base. With two outs, White looped a single to left field that plated both Swanson and Skovgard, and a wild pitch from GMG freshman Kelsey Vaverka allowed White to score the go-ahead run.

Madison White and Jordan LaBarge; Kelsey Vaverka and Madi Krull. W-White (6-14). L-Vaverka (8-11). 2B-G-R: White. 3B-GMG: Vaverka. LOB-G-R 12, GMG 2.

"I was just hoping we were mentally ready to get back into it," G-R coach Paula Kelley said of her team falling behind 2-0. "I was, I've been ready for this team to break back out to where they were three weeks ago offensively. They just needed to believe they could and they needed one kid to start it and finally that one kid opened up the door. I knew we had it, I just didn't know who it was."

Gladbrook-Reinbeck (6-17) tacked on another three runs in their next opportunity, with White again heading the charge. Consecutive singles again by Berendes and Swanson started the outburst, and a walk to Skovgard loaded the bases. A passed ball plated Berendes, and White's grounder down the third-base line took a bad hop and glanced off GMG third baseman Sidney Catherwood's protective mask and into left field, driving in two more.

A pair of GMG errors in the top of the seventh plated another Rebel run, and the Wolverines (11-14) went down scoreless in the bottom half despite singles from Vaverka and Zoe Duncan.

"[White] threw well tonight," said GMG coach Keith Krier. "I give her full credit, she did a wonderful job tonight. We prepared to hit her, we knew she was faster than some of the pitchers we faced so we had practiced against faster pitching and thought we were ready, but in hindsight it didn't look like it."

Vaverka accounted for half of her team's hits, but was saddled with the season-ending loss from the pitching circle. She was tagged for 10 hits and four earned runs, allowing four walks and two hit batters while striking out six.

"I thought we were dodging bullets all night, it sure seemed like to me," said Krier. "That's a credit to them, they really put the pressure on us. We always had to make the play, and just a few innings we couldn't.

"As has been all season we made too many errors. If we could just eliminate those I think the game might have been a little bit closer."

Swanson posted a career-high for hits, going 4-for-4 with two runs scored to lead the Rebels, who had lost nine of their last 10 to end the regular season. Berendes finished 2-for-5 with a run, while White was 2-for-4 with a run and four RBIs, matching her career best. Jordan LaBarge and Sasha Nagle each added singles for the Rebels, who travel to face 15th-ranked AGWSR tonight at 7 p.m. in Ackley.

The Cougars beat G-R 7-1 in Ackley and 3-2 in Gladbrook in NICL West play earlier this season.

"We have to play our game, we have to hit strikes, we can't be chasing and we have to play errorless ball like we did tonight," Kelley said. "Just good, clean ball. We're capable, we just have to believe we can do it."

GMG, meanwhile, finished 11-14 after dropping seven of its last eight. The Wolverines, with no seniors on the squad, return their entire roster for next season.

"Last year we won three games and this year we won 11, and I doubt if anyone was expecting us to do that," said Krier. "We beat some teams that we think are pretty good. ... There were only a couple teams in our conference that we were unable to beat this year so we feel good about that.

"We only have one junior so we have our team coming back and we're excited about the future, and we know we have to work harder because if we don't improve we're not going to do any better than we did this year - and we'd like to."



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