Ables stymies Lady Eagles
Alan Stewart, Contributing Writer
West Washington’s Gracie Ables, who as of press time has recorded 308 punch-outs to lead all pitchers in the state, kept the host Lady Eagles off balance for much of the night last Tuesday during the sectional matchup at Lanesville and helped her own cause with a 3-4 effort at the plate with a couple of RBIs as the Lady Senators scored an 8-1 victory. The Lady Eagles got the lead-off runner on base in three of the first four innings but cashed in just once.
“We have eight players who are freshmen and sophomores and haven’t been in this type of atmosphere, and it took its toll tonight in the pressure of the game. It just wasn’t the right time,” Lanesville coach Steve Sonner said.
After both clubs had some defensive flashes in the first two frames, West Washington drew first blood in the third inning when Ables singled to right to drive in Destiney Neafus, who reached on a fielder’s choice.
The Lady Senators got a hit train going in the next inning with seven runs on five hits and two Lady Eagles’ errors.
Mackenzie Brown, Neafus (two), Ables, Lizzy Keltner (two) and Alandra Johnson all had RBI knocks in the inning, with Riley Hall hitting a double for West Washington.
Lanesville scored its only run of the contest in the bottom of the same inning.
Morgan Sonner reached on a single to right center and went to second on a passed ball. With two outs, Ava Kerr hit a shot to left that was bobbled, allowing Sonner to be plated.
Lanesville loaded the bases in the fifth inning, but Ables was able to record a strikeout to end the threat. Ables didn’t allow another runner the rest of the way.
“They hit the ball where we weren’t; that was the bottom line,” Steve Sonner said. “I wish we would have made some plays on some of them that we didn’t, but I think for the most part we were about as solid as we could be.
“We had a pretty good season overall,” he said. “We were thinking coming in that (Ables) had pitched so many innings that maybe we could get to her but she’s really good at throwing first-pitch strikes, and we just stood there and watched them. It was just one of those nights.”
Lindsey Casabella was 2 of 4 at the plate, Ellie Schneider had a single, Danielle Haire laced a double to left and Ellie Brooks had an infield single for the Lady Eagles, who end their season at 20-9 but return all but two players from this season’s club.
Lanesville 000 100 0 – 1 6 4
W – Ables. L – Nunemaker. 2B – Haire (L), Hall (WW).