|Fri, Oct 31, 2014 12:29 PM
|Issue of October 29, 2014
May 07, 2014 | 01:16 PM
It took 10 innings, but it was a clutch hit by Regan Walker in the top half that put a cap on a four-run comeback by Lanesville to defeat North Harrison, 5-4, Monday in Ramsey.
The freshman came up with the RBI single, plating Robyn Schoen, to help support a big effort by Lady Eagles' pitcher Emma Zeller in the circle. During the 10 innings, she held the potent North Harrison offense at bay, striking out 16.
photos by Brian Smith
Lanesville's Emma Zeller fires a pitch against North Harrison. The twirler struck out 16, giving up just three hits against North Harrison. Photos by Brian Smith
"Emma's ball had a lot of pop today," Class A No. 5 Lanesville coach Rusty Cecil said. "I told the girls she was pitching a whale of a game and they should keep fighting to win it for her. She deserved it."
It was her battery-mate that came through in the moment.
Setting up the go-ahead run, Schoen smacked a single beyond a diving Kenedy House near the second-base bag. She moved up a base when McKenzie Randolph grounded out. With one out, Walker laced a single to center field, plating Schoen standing up.
"Walker had two really good hits today," Cecil said.
North Harrison relief pitcher Brittany Rudolph escaped the inning with the help of House, who made a diving play on a Zeller grounder, for the third out.
In the bottom of the 10th, Zeller had all the momentum in the circle. Kodi House, leading off the final half, broke a string of hitless Lady Cats at bats. Kodi dropped a well-placed bunt, easily outracing the ball to reach for a single. It was the first hit off Zeller since the third inning.
"We played a little small ball because Emma is a good pitcher," North Harrison coach Eric Pavey said. "We wanted to make her work pitches more."
Although that was the game plan, Pavey said it wasn't executed as well as he desired.
"Our major thing is we like to play small ball but also like to look for big hits," he said. "We missed seven bunts today, so we didn't execute our game plan like I wanted to. Lanesville came out to play."
Zeller came up with a few big defensive plays as well. On a bunt attempt by Aspen Luther, Zeller made a diving catch to her left, preventing a possible hit.
Although Kodi House moved up a bag with one out, Zeller induced a ground out then a strikeout to end the game.
"I'm prouder than heck of them," Cecil said. "This is a big win over a big school. They fought back."
North Harrison's Abby Bozynski slides beyond the second-base bag on a steal attempt, while Lanesville shortstop Annie Parsons knocks the ball down.
Many times when Harrison County schools get together for a contest, there are often cousins, close or distant, playing against one another.
At Monday's game, the relationship from one dugout to the other couldn't have been much closer. North Harrison skipper Eric Pavey had to coach against his daughter, Lanesville left fielder Katelyn Pavey.
"It was the worst game I've had," Eric Pavey said. "I want her to do well, but, of course, we're here to win the game."
Breaking the ice among family happened quickly when Katelyn led off the game at the plate. She reached four times in the game, twice each on errors and walks.
Lanesville failed to score in the opening inning, but North Harrison put a two spot up in its half, despite only one hit.
With one out, Kaylin Bright reached on a bunt down the third-base line. Bright eventually made her way to third while Kenedy House reached on a walk. Via a successful double steal, Bright crossed the plate and a throwing error sent House to third. House later scored on a two-out wild pitch.
North Harrison increased its lead in the third. Bright, bunting again, reached on a throwing error. Bringing her home, Kyia Oppel hit a shot to right center for a double.
Not finished yet, in the fourth, the Lady Cats made it 4-0 on the scoreboard when Kodi House's bunt brought home Abby Bozynski from second base. Bozynski led off the inning with a walk and stole second base.
North Harrison starting pitcher Lacie Smith was solid the first part of the game. She gave up a lead-off double to Annie Parsons in the second inning but left her stranded at third.
Lanesville had runners on in the third and fourth innings but couldn't produce.
Things changed in the sixth inning.
Three consecutive doubles, one each by Zeller, Erica Daly and Parsons, led to two runs. Zeller and Daly's blasts hit the fence, while Parsons' hugged the right-field line.
"The doubles set the tone," Cecil said. "It showed the girls we could get it done."
With two outs, Randolph hit a single that dropped in front of Bozynski in left that plated Parsons. The big inning brought Lanesville within one, 4-3.
Katelyn Pavey reached in the top of the seventh on an infield error against Rudolph, who entered to close the game. After Zeller popped out, an off-target throw back to the Lady Cats pitcher caused Pavey to break for second base.
In scoring position, Daly provided the big two-out hit. Her single to left plated Pavey, knotting the game at 4.
Eric Pavey said the mental error proved costly for his team, but pointed to his daughter for the heads-up play she made, taking second base.
"Katelyn Pavey makes a heads-up play when we make a mental error, over-throwing the pitcher, and she goes second," he said. "It puts them in position to score, and the line drive scores her easy. That was the difference."
It's the mental errors coach Pavey said he wants his Lady Cats to continue to clean up.
"Our kids are playing better," he said. "As I've said from the beginning, we can play with anybody if we eliminate the mental errors. We have to be mentally sharper, but that's the sign of a young team."
With the game tied, Zeller continued to pound the zone for the Lady Eagles. She allowed a one-out walk to Kodi House in the seventh, but Walker gunned her down trying to steal second.
Lanesville had several shots in the eighth and ninth innings to score. In the eighth, freshman Laynie Collins led off with a pinch-hit double. Walker and Katelyn Pavey loaded the bases by drawing walks, but North Harrison catcher Bright picked off Pavey at first to end the threat.
The Lady Eagles, however, would get their run in the 10th to earn the victory.
"Instead of blaming someone else or letting someone else do it, innings six through 10, they stepped up to the plate and took care of business," Cecil said. "They swung at good pitches today, too. That's how you win games. You don't step back and watch; you dig in and get it done. They made it happen."
Daly finished the game 3 for 5 at the plate with two RBIs. Parsons had a pair of hits, both doubles, while Walker was 2 for 4 with two singles and a walk.
From the circle, Zeller's stat line was impressive through 10 innings: three hits, two walks, one hit batter, 16 strikeouts.
On Thursday, the twirler had a no-hitter against rival New Washington, a game the Lady Eagles won 1-0. She struck out 12 Lady Mustangs.
Rudolph took the loss for the Lady Cats, going four innings. Overall, North Harrison struck out one Lady Eagle.
Lanesville will return to action tomorrow (Thursday) when the Lady Eagles travel to Madison Shawe. They will return home Saturday to play a round-robin event against North Daviess and Class A No. 2 Tecumseh.
North Harrison will hit the diamond tomorrow, traveling to Mid-Southern Conference foe Austin.
Lanesville 000 003 100 1 – 5 11 2
North Harrison 201 100 000 0 – 4 3 3
W – Zeller, L – Rudolph.
2B – Parsons 2 (L), Daly (L), Zeller (L), Collins (L), Oppel (NH).