Gaels improve to 15-3 in softball

St. Edmond eighth-grader Maggie Harvey decided “snuggle time” was ready to be implemented into live game action.

Harvey connected on a solo home run in the third, helping lead the fourth-ranked (Class 2A) Gaels past Saydel at Rogers Park Tuesday night, 7-5.

The win was the third straight for St. Edmond (15-3 overall) and ninth in the past 10 games played overall.

During batting practice, Gael head coach Paul Hunt allows for what the squad refers to as “snuggle time” to take place during the final round of swings. Harvey’s third homer of the year easily cleared the left-field fence, and was nearly caught by her brother, Vinnie Harvey.

“When Maggie gets a hold of the ball, that is what can happen,” Hunt said. “For an eighth-grader, her bat speed and power is just incredible. I honestly cannot wait to see how good she is going to become.”

Allie Oberg, Josie Heesch and Jessica Kuebler all had two each hits along with Harvey, including a double by both Heesch and Kuebler.

Heesch has been stuck in a minor slump at the plate lately, but Hunt never gave a second thought to taking her out of the lineup.

“We knew Josie would come around,” he said. “She’s a world-class hitter and showed that (Tuesday night). She just needed to get a little confidence back in her game.”

Katie Donnelly worked around some tense moments, earning her 11th win of the year. The senior struck out four and allowed no earned runs, as her usually razor-sharp defense committed six errors behind her.

The Gaels jumped all over Saydel (8-10) early, plating two runs in both the first and second innings. The Eagles, who had won four straight prior to last night, rallied back to tie the game at 5-all after the fifth.

“We got a little careless in the field and Saydel made us pay,” Hunt said. “They just got their head coach back and she has really turned them around. They are a much better team than their record shows.”

Two Eagle errors led to a tiebreaking run for St. Edmond in the fifth, as Anna Yung came across home to score. The Gaels added an insurance run in the sixth courtesy of Heesch.

St. Edmond’s five games in five days stretch continues this evening, as they return to North Central Conference play vs. Eagle Grove. The Gaels are 8-1 in the NCC and currently tied with Webster City atop the standings, a half-game ahead of Bishop Garrigan.