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Locked in a 0-0 tie with Lone Tree in the fifth inning, Highland’s Emily Yahnke changed the momentum with one swing of the bat.
Her solo home run in the bottom of the fifth broke the tie and gave the Huskies a lead they held the rest of the way in a 3-0 win over their conference rival.
“Emily is officially the hardest worker I have,” Highland coach Carrie Wieland said.
Wieland said that when they put her in the right side of the box, the way she was swinging that eventually she’d get the solid connection. The fastball from Lone Tree’s Abby Buckman combined with her bat speed ended up with a ball hitting the shed past the left field fence. That woke up the Highland bats as they hit five of their seven hits in the fifth inning or later.
In the sixth inning, Brylee Carolan singled to center field and advanced to second base off a Haylee Sweeting groundout. Murphy Beinhart then drilled a ball to left center and doubled to bring Carolan home. Beinhart stole third and was brought home on a Mackenzie Hora single.
Despite putting up zero runs, the Lady Lions bats weren’t that quiet. The Lady Lions had six hits on the night and left eight runners on base. Chloe Jacque was 3-4 from the plate on the night, but the Lady Lions only moved her to second base one of those times.
The best opportunity for the Lady Lions came in the second inning. They had Arlie Lorack and Heather Heiger on base with one out. A Jordan Akers strikeout put two outs on the board. Skylar Smith walked to load the bases, but a Holley Johnson strikeout ended the inning.
The night was a career milestone for both starting pitchers. Lone Tree sophomore Abby Buckman hit 300 career strikeouts and Highland junior Megan Hoenig hit 200 career strikeouts.
In the last two innings of the night, Hoenig didn’t allow anyone on base and used her off-speed pitch to create some easy fly ball outs for the Huskies. Hoenig had six strikeouts on the night. Buckman struck out eight batters on the night. The win for Highland is their sixth in a row and keeps them surging after a 2-5 start to the year.
“It’s super impressive and we’re starting to get it figured out there, I think. I’m really happy with the win tonight,” Wieland said.
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