Hardin softball team faces unexpected challenge from Sidney

Demi Uffelman throws 100th strikeout of the season
Thursday, April 25, 2019

Photo by Andrew Turck

Demi Uffelman, pitcher for Hardin’s Lady Bulldogs, aims a shot past a batter for Sidney’s Lady Eagles. During the game, Uffelman threw her 100th strikeout.

Photo by Andrew Turck

Hardin first baseman Kelly Feller reaches to pick up the ball last Thursday following a hit by Sidney’s Lady Eagles. Her team is undefeated in the Eastern A conference.

Hardin’s Lady Bulldog softball team faced an unexpected challenge last Thursday during the team’s home win over Sidney’s Eagles when its opponents, down 8-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning, suddenly dug in.

“We were doing really well until the last inning,” Hardin pitcher Demi Uffelman said, but then the team “fell apart.”

Up to that final inning, yet another victory for the Ladies seemed to be a foregone conclusion. Throughout the first four, the team’s Head Coach Sarah Passes said, they had played some of their best defense of the season. Meanwhile, she continued, Uffelman “was mowing [Sidney] down,” throwing her 100th strikeout that year.

Two days previous, the Ladies had more than quadrupled the final score of Glendive’s Red Devils in a 22-5 blowout. Passes believes the team’s string of victories likely made them overconfident.

“I really think they rolled in here thinking it was just going to happen again…and they got too comfortable,” she said.

Soon, one after another, Sidney players began hitting the ball regularly and gaining runs batted in. The Ladies’ catchers, on several occasions, just missed their Eagle opponents as Sidney ran and stole the bases.

What began as a minor issue for Hardin soon turned dire as Sidney climbed 1 point behind the Ladies in an 8-7 deficit. With the final strike, an Eagle player hit the ball far into the outfield, but her run was cut short thanks to a catch by Hardin’s Cora Wood.

“I’m honestly kind of glad Sidney did that to us,” Passes said, “because I think the girls do need to be pressed.”

Uffelman, according to Passes, has doubled her total number of strikeouts when compared to last year. On offense against Sidney, Uffelman also hit the most RBIs for the team with three, followed by Wood and Kailee Roan with one each.

Reflecting on throwing 100 strikeouts, Uffelman said she felt about the same as last year, commenting, “It’s just a number.”

Hardin’s current ranking in the Eastern A conference is 6-0 and 10-1 overall.

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