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FC/E-M Softball Even At 7-7

In its most recent action on the diamond, Fillmore Central/Exeter-Milligan dropped a pair of games in Hastings on Saturday and won a double header on Thursday in Geneva.  The Panthers are currently 7-7.
On September 9, FC/E-M fell to 17-1 Hastings 10-2 in five innings and fell to Adams Central 9-1.  Sydney Schelkopf, Jackie Schelkopf, Hannah Horne, Alexis Uldrich, Kalisha Gergen and Jacy Schlueter all had hits against the Tigers.
“Hastings is a top Class B team, with exceptional talent," Panther coach Aaron Lauby said.  "We made them earn it, and competed very well with them.  Their pitcher is exceptional, and we hit her very well.  We made a couple of mistakes at inopportune times, and like a great team, they made us pay for it.”
Both Schelkopfs and Kaitlyn Vavra smacked hits against the 12-7 Patriots. The game was 0-0 through two innings.  AC scored five runs in the third inning.
“This game was disappointing in that we left so many runners on base, and did not take advantage of the many opportunities we had to really put pressure on their pitcher," Lauby said.  "Adams Central is a solid Class B team, we simply didn’t play well enough in this game to beat an opponent like Adams Central.”
"We are at the half way point of our season.  We have to be more consistent in our play.  To win games, every player has to be willing to give 100 percent focus and effort on every pitch and every play. It is easy to make a play when you know it is coming to you, but being able to have that mindset every play is the task we need to compete at a high level, and we need it from every position and every player in the lineup.”
On September 7, the Panthers downed Freeman 9-3 and Wilber-Clatonia 11-4 in six innings. Schlueter picked up both wins on the mound.  FC/E-M led the Falcons 6-1 after four innings.
“Freeman is a very athletic team that makes you beat them, they play solid defense and make you earn everything," Lauby said. "After the first couple of innings our intensity picked up and I was pleased with our all-around game, and as the game progressed our offensive execution was clicking. It was nice to see Alexis Schmidt hit a bomb over (the) Jill’s Sweet Shoppe (banner) and Alexis Uldrich added a big fly later in the game to ice it.”
The Panthers exploded for eight runs against the Wolverines to deliver the knock-out punch.
“Last week, Kaitlyn picked up Jacy after a rough outing and this game Jacy picked up Kaitlyn," Lauby said.  "Jacy pitched like a stud today and our offensive execution was really good tonight in both games.  We’ve had trouble hitting Wilber’s pitcher for a few years now, but tonight I think we finally figured out what type of team we need to be offensively.  We did the little things well in both games—there were so many key moments that might have seemed minor but played key roles in the win. I could mention something well that every player did tonight whether it was a key defensive play, bunting in a run, or even keeping the energy high in the dugout. It was a good night, but we can be even better.”
On Saturday, September 2, the Panthers finished 2-1 at a tournament in Fairbury. FC/E-M rolled past Friend and Logan View/Scribner-Snyder and fell to Freeman.
“The less I say about this game probably the better," said Lauby after the disappointing 5-2 loss to Freeman.  "We had way too many mental errors, and we wasted a well pitched game from Kaitlyn and Jacy.  There is no better teacher than experience, but we have to fix some of these mental mistakes that seem to crop up at very critical times.  Hitting cut offs, backing up throws, base-running, executing bunts, there are so many little things that if not done well consistently lead to poor outcomes.  We will get to play them again Thursday, and we will be able to give a better showing.”