|Lady Chargers trip tough Camden squad, lose Bowen to broken leg
|Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2009 2:45 pm
A victory over one of the toughest Class AA softball teams in West Tennessee resulted in a muted celebration Monday night.
Out of action — Westview freshman Katelyn Bowen, here running the bases last week against Dresden, suffered a broken leg during her team's win over Camden Monday night.
The Westview Lady Chargers edged the tough Camden Lady Lions, 4-3, but lost teammate Katelyn Bowen to a broken leg in the victory.
Bowen was at full speed chasing a lined shot to center field when she collided with the fence, caught a cleat in the turf and broke both bones in her lower leg.
"She had two clean breaks. They set them in surgery on Tuesday morning. (The doctor) said it looked good and expects her to be back in six months," WHS head coach J.B. Suiter said Wednesday morning.
The freshman was alert and in good spirits while down on the field, according to Suiter.
"When I got to her she said, 'Sorry Coach. I was trying to make up for striking out," Suiter said of what he described as one of the most respectful, hard-nosed players he has been around in his coaching days.
While the injured player was being tended to, the Lady Chargers and Lady Lions huddled together on the infield in a group prayer.
Bowen's injury created a near 45-minute delay in the action as an ambulance was driven onto the field to provide care.
Any thought of suspending the game was put aside when Bowen told her coach, "Don't worry about me. Ya'll just win," as she was being placed in the ambulance.
"That just shows her dedication to the team. That really helped when I relayed what she said to our girls. That contributed to our girls pulling it together for the win," Suiter said.
In the game action, Westview's Shaylon Robb manufactured the first run of the night. She drew a walk, stole second and came on around to score on the catcher's throwing error.
Camden evened the score at 1-all thanks to a leadoff triple that came as a result of the play that injured Bowen.
The Lady Chargers moved back on top with a two-out rally in the home half of the fifth. Westview put together three consecutive singles by Sam Giesler, Ashley Bynum and Robb. Giesler came home on Robb's double for a 2-1 lead.
"They are all hitting the ball well right now. It seems like the ball looks to be the size of basketball coming in to the plate," the WHS coach said.
Westview gave up the lead by allowing two unearned runs in the top of the sixth inning.
Another two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth put the Lady Chargers back on top for good. Camden's defense was now the one having trouble, committing two errors in the field. Mary Kirk Mesimer reached on an error and scored. Jenna Hazelwood drew a walk and scored to move Westview on top 4-3.
Right-hander Shanna Chappell and the WHS defense retired Camden in order in the top of the seventh to take the 4-3 win.
After the game, the Westview coach and his players headed to the hospital to check on Bowen.
After Suiter visited with his player, her teammates went in to see her her two at a time.
"All the girls signed the game ball. Sam (Giesler) and Grace Ann (Swaim) were the first two in to see her. They gave her the ball. She had it in bed with her when I went to visit her (Tuesday)," Suiter stated.
The Lady Chargers had little time to reflect on their victory or their fallen teammate, as a game with Gibson County awaited on Tuesday afternoon in Dyer.
Westview took the 6-2 win.
"I could tell they were emotionally shot. Katelyn was still on everybody's mind," Suiter said of his team's effort.