MORRISON – Kaitlyn Finneran's sore quad was like a domino tipped over to start a chain reaction through the Morrison Fillies infield.
After a busy four-game weekend, Morrison coach Tammy Deter wanted to rest her ailing All-Area shortstop Monday against Three Rivers rival Amboy.
The decision moved her infield around, and the results weren't great. The Clippers jumped out to an early lead thanks in part to a two-run error.
After some shuffling around to get Finneran back on the field, the Fillies settled down and rallied for a 11-6 win.
"With our shortstop hurting, we wanted to get her some rest," Deter said. "It put some girls in new positions they might not have been ready for."
"I think we had some jitters at the beginning of the game," Morrison catcher Chelsea Eads said. "With girls in new positions, we were nervous."
After a scoreless first inning, Amboy put pressure on freshman pitcher Lauren Palmer in the second.
Cassey Doege led off the inning with a single. Palmer hit Michaela McCoy after that. Sydney Wilhelm loaded the bases after a pop out with a single. After another pop out, Lauren Akre coaxed a walk to score the game's first run.
That was followed by hard ground ball by Kelsey Thurman that skipped between the legs of shortstop Allie Wiersema. Two runs scored to put Amboy up 3-0.
"We have confidence in everyone in our lineup," Amboy's Brooke Lovgren said. "We know that if one doesn't come up with a hit, that the next person will."
In the third, Lovgren led off with a double, and Doege walked, forcing Deter to make a change.
She moved Wiersema to the circle, Palmer went to first base and Finneran came in to play short. Finneran did not bat, as she replaced flex player Hannah Rillie, who was playing first base, in the lineup.
Wiersema (5-1) got out of the jam after a sac bunt moved runners over, and a groundout turned into a 5-3-2 double play.
"Allie has been doing that for us all season," Deter said. "She's been very consistent and throwing very well."
Morrison cut into the lead with an unearned run in the bottom of the inning.
Amboy's lead expanded out to 5-1 on RBI singles by Akre and Kelsey Thurman.
Morrison charged back as Wiersema drove in two runs with a double, and Shannon Finneran drove in two more with a single to tie the score at five after four innings.
The teams traded runs in the fifth. McCoy clubbed a solo home run over the left-field fence for Amboy.
Palmer led off the bottom of the inning with a double and scored on a groundout by Hannah Vanderlaan.
Morrison blew the game open in the bottom of the sixth, as Doege took over in the circle for Akre, and the Amboy defense disappeared.
Wiersema picked up her third hit to start the inning with a single. The Clippers then committed three errors in the inning, mixed with three hits that led to five runs for Morrison.
"We thought bringing Cassey in the sixth would throw them off a bit," Amboy coach Kelly Whitman said. "She pitched fine, but you can't make that many errors against a team like that and hope to come back. I'm not sure what happened, but the defense just wasn't there for one inning. That cost us the game."
Star of the game: Allie Wiersema, Morrison, winning pitcher, 3 hits, 2B, 3 runs, 2 RBIs
Key performers: Michaela McCoy, Amboy, solo home run, reached base three times; Shannon Finneran, Morrison, 2 hits, 2B, 3 RBIs
Up next: Bureau Valley at Amboy, 4:30 p.m. today; Morrison at Milledgeville, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday