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Lady Eagles move to Elite Eight

Lady Eagles move to Elite Eight
Lady Eagles move to Elite Eight
The Lanesville Lady Eagles celebrate their regional championship last Tuesday at Trinity Lutheran after earning a 5-2 win. Photo by Wade Bell

‘It’s amazing!’
That’s how Lanesville Lady Eagles pitcher Katelyn Hurley described her feelings after the Lanesville softball team won its regional championship game over host Trinity Lutheran High School last Tuesday at Seymour.
The Lady Eagles held off a Cougars’ rally for a 5-2 win to send them into Saturday’s semi-state round at Daviess County.
‘Got it done,’ Lanesville coach Eric Pavey said.
‘I think it means we have a program,’ he said. ‘I think it means that the seniors that were here two years ago laid a foundation and went to semi-state and beat the defending state champions. This group comes along as seniors and they take this group to semi-state again. I think it means we’re building a program.’
‘It means everything,’ Hurley said. ‘I know for the freshmen it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You don’t always get to state. You’ve made it to regional champions, but you don’t always get to say that. So, not only did I do it for myself, but I did it for them too. So, we really need to keep bringing it if we want to go all the way.’
The first two innings went scoreless with both teams leaving a runner stranded on base. In the bottom of the first, the Lady Eagles had a miscommunication allowing Savannah Harweger a short double. With Jodi Goecker at the plate, Harweger tried to steal third. Lanesville freshman catcher Danielle Haire was ready, however, gunning down the Trinity junior to stop the threat and give the Lady Eagles some redemption after the mental mistake.
‘We did a little scouting report and we knew (Harweger), when she got on base, she stole almost 100 percent of the time and she had never got thrown out all year long,’ Pavey said. ‘So, we knew if she got on, she was going to steal. When I walked out there and talked to them, that’s what I told them. I said, ‘She’s going to steal on you. Let’s make sure we throw her out at third and let’s get her out’.’
‘Coach Pavey told us that lead-off batter (Harweger) was the main runner and always ran, so I always had my eye on her when she was on base,’ Haire said. ‘I saw that she was running, and the communication on the field told me to throw. And, I threw it and got her out.’
Lanesville went three up and out in the top of the second, while Trinity Lutheran threatened with a pair of singles. Morgan Gabbard grounded out to third, however, leaving the runners stranded and a zero on the scoreboard.
Lanesville finally got on the board in the top of the third. With two outs, the Lady Cougars committed an error allowing Hannah Nunemaker on base. The Lady Eagles followed that with three straight singles by Abby Duncan, Hurley and Haire for two runs and a 2-0 lead to put pressure on the Lady Cougars.
Trinity Lutheran went three up and out in the bottom of the inning.
In the top of the fourth, Lanesville added more pressure on the Lady Cougars with another run. Again with two outs Haley Adams was hit by a pitch. Lily Romeo followed that with a bunt single. Nunemaker then ripped a single to score Adams, and the Lady Eagles had a 3-0 lead.
The Lady Cougars failed to score again in the bottom of the inning, and Lanesville left a runner on in the top of the fifth.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Cougars made the game more interesting. Chloe Criswell got a lead-off single but was forced out on a fielder’s choice on the next play with Gabbard batting. Harweger followed that by smashing a triple, scoring Gabbard. Goecker reached on safely following a Lanesville error to score Harweger, and the Lady Eagles’ lead was cut to one, 3-2, making Pavey go to the mound to settle down his team.
‘They got a little rattled there, but they came back and they were focused and they knew what they needed to do to get out of the inning,’ Pavey said.
Lanesville let its bats do the talking. With one out, Adams singled then Romeo was hit by a pitch. With two outs, Duncan ripped a single to score both runners, giving the Lady Eagles some breathing room for a 5-2 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, the Lady Cougars fought to get those back. Sami Newmister led off with a single. With one out, Bell also singled, putting the tying run at the plate. Hurley, however, kept the Lady Cougars at bay, striking out Criswell and Gabbard flying out to centerfield leaving Lanesville with a 5-2 lead.
The seventh inning went scoreless with the Lady Eagles getting the regional championship win.
‘I knew I needed to start keeping them off the plate,’ Hurley said. ‘Coming into it, I knew they were pretty strong at hitting. I knew I needed to get ball off the plate, more than just one ball off the plate ‘ two or three ‘ because they can hit the ball. So, when I started getting the ball over the plate and they started hitting it, I knew I needed to change something or get more spin on it. I knew they weren’t going to back down. They were going to give it their all.’
‘There were a couple of nervous moments there, but they stay focused,’ Pavey said. ‘I was proud of them.’
‘As a freshman, it’s a great feeling,’ Haire said. ‘It’s very nerve-wracking and, having the ability to play with the upperclassmen and having that bond and going this far and possibly even farther, is just a really great feeling.’
The Lady Eagles finished with 8 hits for the game; Duncan and Haire had two singles each. Hurley had just one strikeout but forced the Lady Cougars to hit the ball in the air, leading to 7 pop-outs. Lanesville had the one error and left seven runners on base.
‘Mostly when I’m pitching my curve ball, it’s for them to get underneath it, pop them up,’ Hurley said. ‘That’s really what we were pitching tonight was curves, so they did. They started popping it up.’
Probably the biggest stat was the Lady Eagles getting all of their runs on two-out situations.
‘We’re just one-pitch warriors,’ Pavey said. ‘We try to get every pitch we can. We try to just move runners. It doesn’t matter. In our boys’ baseball game, when they had two outs, they scored six runs. A lot of the girls saw that at their games, so they know with two outs we can score runs. So, the game is not really over until there’s three outs.’
Trinity Lutheran finished with nine hits for the game; Hannah Deaton and Criswell hit for two singles each and Harweger had two for extra bases. Deaton struck out one, walked one and hit three Lanesville batters.
Haire said communication was key.
‘When it’s completely silent, it’s like we’ve given up,’ she said. ‘With us communicating all the time, it lifts our moods and we know where to go on the next play. It just keeps everyone uplifted and refreshing.’
The win put the Lady Eagles into the North Daviess semi-state against the host team.
‘I’m already pretty nervous but, as a team, I know we’re going to do good things and go far,’ Haire said.

Lanesville 002 102 0 ‘ 5 8 1
Trinity Lutheran 000 020 0 ‘ 2 9 1
W ‘ Hurley, L ‘ Deaton.
2B ‘ Harweger (TL); 3B ‘ Harweger (TL).