Macal’s Walk-off Slams St. Charles


Alex VandenHouten- Winona Daily News

Ellie Macal swings at a pitch in Cotter’s 2019 game vs Lewiston Altura

Disaster loomed.

After taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning, the Ramblers lead went away with the wind as St. Charles sophomore Grace Buringa hit an absolute moonshot to left center with the bases loaded to give St. Charles a 5-2 lead after scoring one run in the previous inning.  The Ramblers were shut-out in innings 2-6, and had little hope heading into the seventh. All until an epic comeback kicked off.

In the bottom of the 7th, Nadia Dieterman pinch hit for Megan Morgan. Dieterman drew a walk. Next, Left fielder Mallory Ehlenfeldt added to the rally by roping a single on a shallow line drive that St. Charles outfielder Jade Krenick was inches away from catching. With Elaina Kohner getting out earlier in the inning, the top of the order was ready to do some serious damage with one out. Hailey Biesanz drew a walk on five pitches, setting up the perfect scenario: bases loaded, one out for Senior UW-Superior Commit Ellie Macal. After seeing a change-up in the dirt, everyone new a fastball was coming, including Macal.

“After she missed with the change-up, I was ready for the fastball, that was the pitch I could square up.” -Macal

One could say she squared it up, launching what everyone, including Coach Pat Bowlin, thought was a deep fly ball to left center.

Well the ball was deep, deep enough to go over the fence. The crowd roared, Cotter had just hit a walk off grand slam to defeat their conference foe St. Charles 6-5 in their home opener

“It was just any other at bat, there’s nothing special about it.. Without the other three people that got on, we don’t win the game, It was a true team effort.” said Macal

The walk-off grand slam was a team first. Although it was an exciting win, the Ramblers have a lot to improve on. In his post game talk, Coach Pat Bowlin harped on the fact that if his young squad wanted a trip to the state tournament, his tam had to play better. No overthrows, fielding the ball cleanly, better execution, and the want to win.

The epic walk-off was captured by Winona Daily News’s Alex VandenHouten :

Macal’s walk off captured on Winona daily news

The Ramblers are ranked No. 6 in class AA for MSHSL Softball