CHRISTMAN swings at a Mikaela Reed pitch Thursday at Westview. Christman had three hits, drove in a run and scored two as the Lady Tigers prevailed, 7-3.
Eleman powers Millennium past Westview
by Mike Russo sports editor
In a game crucial to the playoff hopes of both teams, Millennium rallied late to win 7-3 Thursday at Westview. The victory kept the Lady Tigers’ playoffs aspirations
alive, while just about extinguishing the Lady Knights’ fading hopes. The triumph raised Millennium’s overall record to 17-11 and 10-7 in power-points games. The Lady Tigers are ranked 24th in power points with one game remaining. The top 24 teams qualify for the Division I state tournament. “We needed this,” Millennium coach Randi Johns said. “This is awesome because the team that played today is our team. If we played that well consistently, we would be hard to beat.” Westview fell to 16-12 and 8-9 and is ranked 32nd with one game left on the schedule. “It’s going to be very difficult now [to make the
playoffs],” Watson said. “I thought we would score more. That’s a pretty good team. They played defense and got timely hitting.”
Millennium snapped a 2-2 tie, erupting for five runs in the top of the fifth inning, highlighted by Angelique Eleman’s grand slam. It was her second home run of the game and fifth of the season.
“I noticed a lot this season that we are a come-from- behind team,” Johns said. “The scoreboard seems to get them motivated.” Westview starting pitcher Mikaela Reed had been
pitching well until the fateful fifth. However, her control deserted her in the fifth and that led to her undoing. With one out, Stephanie Castro smacked a double that one-hopped the right-center field fence. Kylene Roles and Sedona Velarde both walked, loading the bases. Kylie Christman singled to center, sending Castro home for a 3-2 lead. After Corrine Loncar flew out to right, Eleman unloaded a deep drive over the left-field fence. “The pitch was high and outside,” Eleman said. Westview was never able to overcome the deficit, although it did score a seventh-inning run.
Millennium got on the scoreboard first, tallying a run in the second inning on Eleman’s first homer, a deep drive over the right-field fence. “It was an outside pitch and I went with the pitch,” Eleman said. “That was way out of here,” Johns said. “It must have gone 250 feet.” Westview responded with a run in its turn at-bat. Chelsie Goddard walked to open the frame. Analicia
Vega beat out a bunt for a hit and Lindsey Simmons drove home the run with a single to right.
The Lady Knights took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third on a double by Annalisha Cordova and a run-scoring single by Goddard, who was thrown out trying to stretch her hit into a double.
Millennium tied the score in the fourth. Kylie Christman singled to right and advanced second on an error by the right fielder. She moved to third on Loncar’s fielder’s choice and scored on Eleman’s single. Eleman finished with three hits, five RBI and two runs
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scored. Kylie Christman also had three hits, including a double. She drove in one run and scored two. “This is my biggest game,” Eleman said. “I haven’t been hitting well lately, so it was good.” “Every time Angelique goes to the plate, I know something is going to happen,” Johns said. “She’s been down on herself the last couple of weeks. It’s good to see her have a great day and gain the confidence in herself that I have in her.”
Kallie Christman pitched a complete-game five-hitter for Millennium, allowing three runs, one earned, while striking out five and walking three, elevating her record to 9-4.
The freshman right-hander did not seem phased by the importance of the game. “Kallie lets me know if she is nervous,” Johns said. “I
never have a doubt when Kallie is on the mound that it will be all right.” Reed went five innings and was charged with seven runs, six earned, on six hits. She fanned three and walked only two, but they came at a crucial time. “Makaela will do that,” Watson said. “She will go innings pitching very well, then she when she can’t hit her spots, she has a bad inning. It’s been that way most of the season.”
Millennium concludes the regular season with a 4 p.m. game today at Glendale Independence. Westview wraps up the season with a 4 p.m. today game at Peoria Centennial.
Mike Russo can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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