Timmi Dencklau had one thought going through her mind when she stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the seventh Monday night.
"I just wanted to hit a home run so that Josie (Heesch) couldn't get up and hit one," smiled Dencklau after her walk-off blast propelled the St. Edmond softball team past Humboldt at Rogers Park, 7-6.
Dencklau's shot cleared the fence in center as Wildcat outfielder Samantha Kirby tried to make a play on the ball. Earlier in the game, Kirby hit a home run herself.
The Gaels (16-8 overall, 10-3 in North Central Conference) plated a run in the sixth to tie the game up after Humboldt (15-12, 9-6) scored four in the fifth to take the lead.
"We thought that we could put some runs on the board after scoring two in the first," SEHS head coach Paul Hunt said. "You just never know what is going to happen, though, when it comes to softball. We were aggressive on the bases and that really helped us."
Katie Donnelly pitched the seventh in relief of Amanda Lansman, striking out two batters. She picked up the win, improving to 13-5 on the year.
"Amanda pitched a great game," Hunt said. "We haven't been able to get her a lot of varsity innings so far this year (the freshman had thrown 31 innings entering the night), so our plan was to get her some action. She seemed to be getting a little tired (going into the seventh), so we went with Katie and she pitched great."
Jaci Stumpf went 4-for-4 at the plate with a triple and a double, driving in two runs. Dencklau was 3-for-4 with two doubles and the homer, while Heesch added a double, an RBI and a stolen base.
The walk-off blast was the first of Dencklau's career, but was the fourth homer of the season for the senior.
"When I made contact, I thought it had a chance," Dencklau said. "It felt like it was going out, and when I looked out to center and saw the outfielder fall to the ground, I knew it was gone."
Humboldt's Brenna Wetzel had two hits, two runs scored and an RBI, while Lauren Friesth had two hits and two RBI. Kirby and Erica Lane each added two hits apiece.
Next up for the Gaels is a meeting with 15th-ranked (Class 3A) Iowa Falls-Alden on the road. The Cadets currently lead the NCC standings by two games over St. Edmond, including a 5-3 victory earlier in the year.
ST. EDMOND 7, HUMBOLDT 6
Humboldt 011 040 0 - 6 11 2
St. Edmond 212 001 1 - 7 12 3
Kelli Johnson (L, 6-6, 6 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 12 H, 4 K, 2 BB) and Sarah Peters; Amanda Lansman (6 IP, 6 R, 4 ER, 11 H, 2 K, 0 BB), Katie Donnelly (7, W, 13-5, 1 IP, 2 K) and Jessica Kuebler. HR - H: Samantha Kirby; SE: Timmi Dencklau. 3B - SE: Jaci Stumpf. 2B - H: Brenna Wetzel; SE: Stumpf, Dencklau (2), Josie Heesch. RBI - H: Wetzel, Lauren Friesth (2), Kirby (2); SE: Stumpf (2), Dencklau, Heesch.