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FC/E-M At 10 Wins Heading Into SNC Tournament Play

Fillmore Central/Exeter-Milligan improved its season record to 10-14 with a 2-1 performance at a quad in Central City on Saturday.
The Panthers began play on September 21 with a 5-4 victory over 6-13 O'Neill.  FC/E-M scored four runs in the first inning only to see the Eagles tie the score at 4 apiece.  Kalisha Gergen would score the winning run in the seventh inning after a base hit by Kelsi Gaston.
Josie Kresak, Kayla Geiger, Sydney Simacek, Gergen, Caitlin Murphy, Gaston and Jayda Gaston all had hits for FC/E-M. Schlueter struck out seven and went the distance for the win.
“We probably didn’t deserve this win but we somehow were able to overcome and find a way to win," Panther skipper Aaron Lauby said.  "I don’t know if we would have been able to figure out how to win when not playing are best earlier in the season, so this is still good progress.  Kalisha Gergen had a big triple in the last inning and Kelsi Gaston had the game winning RBI.”
Next, the Panthers fell to 15-8 David City Aquinas 14-6.  The Panthers bats picked up in the fourth and fifth innings, as FC/E-M scored two in the fourth and four in the sixth.  Kelsi Gaston was 2-for-3 at the dish. Schlueter and Gergen combined for the loss on the hill.
“We had a hard time getting outs early in innings and Aquinas did a good job exploiting some of our weaknesses, and it seemed like every out for us was a chore to get," Lauby said.  "I was concerned with our inability to take advantage of a great opportunity in the fifth inning.  We cut the score to within four runs but were unable to carry that momentum over and flip the pressure towards them.  We can learn a lot from this game.”
The Panthers downed Central City 9-8 in their nightcap.  The Bison are 8-19 on the year.  FC/E-M used two big innings for the win—a five run second inning and a four run fifth inning.  Geiger was 2-for-3 at the plate for the Panthers.  Simacek had a hit and scored a run.  Gergen had a hit and scored a run.  Murphy also smacked a single and scored a run.  K. Gaston was 2-for-3 at the plate and scored two runs.  Destiny McCaul scored two runs.
Schlueter got the win going five innings and striking out five.
"We ended a long day with a walk off win," Lauby said.   "Kayla Geiger had the game ending RBIs.  Hard work pays off, the girls just kept grinding offensively and were able to get the winning run to the plate and then on to the bases before Kayla ended on a two-out full count bases loaded hit where she embraced the moment and came through for her team.”
“We have come a long way since day one of practices.  We were a team before the year started that would have been happy just to get a win, and now we are a team that isn’t happy even after a win because we expect now to play well and perform our best. Our standard isn’t the record but our performance and the girls now expect a lot of themselves and each other.  Every girl has to play well and contribute positively for this team to be successful.  Super proud to be associated with them.”
On Monday, the Panthers defeated St. Paul 5-3 and lost to Blue River 6-3.
Josie Kresak scored two runs against St. Paul and so did Kayla Geiger.  Georgia Meyer scored the final run for the Panthers.  Geiger went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the FC/E-M offense. Schlueter was the winning pitcher.
“We were fortunate to get out of some difficult situations defensively and were just able to squeak by with enough runs," Lauby said. "There is such a fine line sometimes between winning and losing and I think tonight with the three teams playing each other so competitively that was pretty evident.”
The Panthers fell in the next contest to Blue River.  Blue River scored five runs in the first two innings and the Panthers crossed the plate three times in the sixth inning. Kresak, Geiger and Gergen scored runs for FC/E-M.  Geiger and Murphy smacked doubles.  Gergen picked up the loss on the mound.
“We are offensively scuffling right now, but I’m really proud of how the girls kept grinding and battling even though it was not an ideal start," Lauby said.  "In our game, there are going to be those days where you don’t get some breaks or play as sharply as you would like.  We have to make our own breaks by executing the little things, and give the best effort you have to give.  Both teams are competing and playing hard and those little things like getting bunts down, hitting cutoffs, sliding on close plays, etc...often can turn momentum around towards your side.”

FC/E-M plays at Adams Central and hosts Milford this week before traveling to Centennial this Saturday to compete in the SNC Softball Tournament.