St. Edmond's hopes of earning some long-awaited payback never materialized Thursday night.
Unable to overcome five costly defensive miscues, the 15th-ranked (Class 2A) Gael softball team (14-8 overall) dropped a 9-5 non-conference decision to Jefferson-JSPC at Rogers Sports Complex.
Last season, SEHS was ousted by the Rams in the 2A regional semifinals.
"They're a great ballclub that can really hit 1-9 in their order," Gael head coach Paul Hunt said of Jefferson-JSPC. "We've had a pretty clean season defensively, but early in the game we just weren't quite as sharp (the Gaels committed four of their errors in the first two frames). I think our defense, though, will be much better in the future."
Juniors Josie Heesch and Katie Donnelly and freshman Anna Yung each delivered a pair of hits for St. Edmond. Yung also drove in three, while Heesch and senior Timmi Dencklau both scored twice. Heesch, a left fielder and cleanup hitter, added a solo long ball over the fence in left-center field with two outs in the bottom of the seventh - her seventh round-tripper of the year and the 19th of her varsity career.
After spotting the visitors a 5-0 advantage right off the bat, the Gaels were left playing catch-up the rest of the way.
JEFFERSON-JSPC 9, ST. EDMOND 5
Jefferson-JSPC 320 210 1-9 15 2
St. Edmond 003 010 1-5 8 5
Marissa Promes (W, 5-1; 7 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) and Jennifer Kennedy; Katie Donnelly (L, 12-5; 7 IP, 15 H, 9 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) and Jessica Kuebler.
2B-JSPC: Emily Christensen, Mady Adamson; SE: Brigid Hanley. HR-SE: Josie Heesch. MH-JSPC: Adamson (3), Tressa Rasmussen (3), Kennedy (2), Promes (2), Kayla Mobley (2); SE: Heesch (2), Donnelly (2), Anna Yung (2). SB-JSPC: Kennedy (2), Emma Saddoris (2), Adamson, Bailey Godwin (2); SE: Yung (2), Jaci Stumpf, Hanley. LOB-JSPC: 9; SE: 6.
"It's tough anytime you fall behind, but I was proud of our girls for never giving up and continuing to battle all the way until the end," said Hunt. "Our team just always keeps a feel that a game is never out of reach."
Mady Adamson and Tressa Rasmussen collected three hits apiece for the Rams (17-5), while Jennifer Kennedy, Marissa Promes and Kayla Mobley managed two hits each. Adamson and Emily Christensen both had three RBI, and Kennedy and Rasmussen crossed the dish twice. Jefferson-JSPC banged out 15 hits and swiped seven bases in the contest.
Promes (5-1) also went the distance in the win, scattering eight hits, two earned runs, one walk and eight strikeouts.
"I thought (Promes) did an excellent job of mixing up all her pitches and keeping us off balance," Hunt said. "We have to put this (loss) behind us and get ready now for a big game against Garrigan. We're excited to get back out (on the field) and see what we can do."
Looking to rebound, the Gaels welcome the Golden Bears (12-11) this evening for a North Central Conference battle. St. Edmond suffered a 5-4 setback to Bishop Garrigan in their previous meeting this season.