Natalie Gilbert, Shenandoah

Shenandoah senior Natalie Gilbert stretches to make a running catch, Saturday, June 27 in a win over Essex.

ESSEX - The Shenandoah Fillies scored five runs on just one hit in the sixth inning, allowing them to survive a scare from Essex in an 8-4 win, Saturday, June 27.

The game was tied at three entering the sixth when Sara Morales reached on an error to start the inning. Pinch-runner Macey Finlay stole second and then took third on a flyout. Another Trojanette error allowed her to score. Essex committed two more errors in the inning and the Fillies led 5-3 before Tori Burns replaced Elise Dailey in the circle. After a popout, Burns walked the next two Fillies, and then Natalie Gilbert singled in two runs to extend the lead to five.

Brianne Johnson singled, stole her way to third and then scored on a Shenandoah error to get one run back in the home sixth, but it wasn’t enough for the Trojanettes to earn their first win of the season.

“We’re improving every time,” Essex head coach Kim Burns said. “We have to learn to win. We are young and it will take a while, but we need to fight for that.”

Essex took the lead in the bottom of the second. Shenandoah starting pitcher Jenna Burdorf walked the bases loaded with one out, and then with two outs, Brianne Johnson singled to center to drive in the game’s first two runs.

Emma Barrett’s RBI single in the third put Essex back up by two.

Walks were a theme for Burdorf in making her first career start. Shenandoah head coach, and father, Aaron Burdorf, said she can’t walk that many, but she did a good job getting out of trouble.

“She maybe had some nerves,” Coach Burdorf said, “but she pitched out of some big situations and got out of innings without giving up big runs. Credit the defense behind her too. It was a good first win to see what she could do in a varsity game.”

The Trojanettes had chances to open up a bigger lead as they left seven runners on base in the first three innings.

Shenandoah’s bats, meanwhile, never did get into a rhythm against Essex pitcher Elise Dailey. The Fillies had just one runner in the first two innings before breaking through in the second thanks to two Essex errors with two outs.

RBI hits by Delanie Voshell and Nichole Gilbert tied the game in the fifth inning.

“We had to make an adjustment on the pitching,” said Burdorf. “It’s not the type of pitching we see in the Hawkeye 10. We had to adjust and it took a little longer to do that. Once we put balls in play, we put some pressure on them and were able to put the big inning together.”

Dailey gave up four hits and seven unearned runs over 5 2/3 innings. Tori Burns finished the game in the circle.

“Elise did a great job,” Coach Burns said. “She did everything she could. Our errors didn’t help us.”

Nichole and Natalie Gilbert had two hits each to lead the Fillies, who ended up with just six hits. Burdorf said it comes down to confidence.

“We have to have the confidence to swing it like we did in week one,” said Burdorf, “knowing we’re good hitters and going up with a confident approach.”

The Fillies improved to 6-2 with the win. Essex fell to 0-5, but was quite close in the last two.

“We need more confidence from our players,” said Coach Burns. “Our leaders have to step up and be true leaders.”

Johnson led the Essex offense with two hits.

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