Eagles' Schmidt tosses no-hitter
Not even the dreary conditions at their soggy Bielenberg field home could suppress the joy as New Life freshman Danielle Schmidt hurled the first no-hitter of her Eagles' career in a 1-0 defeat of Heritage/Providence on April 28.
"It was really something," coach Marco Machado said. "She was in total control."
Schmidt struck out 12 of the 21 batters she faced; yet the game itself remained in doubt until the final inning.
"It was tense," Machado said. "Real, real tense."
The visitors matched the Eagles frame for scoreless frame as four New Life hits through the first six innings all went for naught.
"We were hitting the ball well, but they had us played real well," Machado said. "They played very solid defense."
In spite of Schmidt's prospective no-no, the Eagles were staring extra innings in the eye for the first time this season with one out in the seventh inning.
"Then we got it taken care of," Machado said.
With one out, Kati Stodolka laced a single and looked to move on as Jenny Ramey pounded a fly ball deep into the soaken green of the Bielenberg outfield.
However, Stodolka would scamper back to first as Ramey's extra-base hit bid was snared for the second out of the inning.
Kristin Stein extended the inning with a single that moved Stodolka into scoring position as Danielle's sister Rebecka strode to the plate.
With Machado out of fingernails in the third base coaching box, the Eagles seventh-grader ripped a scorching drive just feet from her coach down the line as Stodolka rounded third and scampered home safely with the game's lone -- and winning -- run.
"Just an incredible game," Machado said. "By far, the best of the year."
The 10-0 Eagles were in position to win their first Minnesota Christian Athletic Association title with a victory at 4-5 West Lutheran May 2 -- after the Bulletin went to press.
"That's been one of our goals," Machado said. "We've accomplished every one we've had so far this year, it would be nice to keep it going."
The Eagles are also looking forward to testing their mettle as they face Class AA power Minnehaha Academy at the Como Park Tournament on May 6.
The 7-1 Redhawks' lone loss this season is to longtime New Life nemesis St. Bernard's.
"Playing Minnehaha is going to be a great test to see how far we've come this season," Machado said.