by John Howley / sportingpumpkin.com
AMANDA – Amanda-Clearcreek took advantage of a third-inning Logan Elm error to jump out in front and then held off the visiting Braves for a 3-2 win Wednesday night.
With two outs in the third, AC’s Paige Alford sent a ball deep to right-center field that was misplayed allowing two runs to score. AC knocked in another run when a ground ball was misplayed allowing Faith Jewell (running for Alford) to score.
“We didn’t hit like we normally have been hitting but they made a few errors and we made them pay when they made the errors,” AC coach Benny Hedrick said.
“Just defensively, when you’re facing a good team like Amanda with good pitchers and good hitters, it’s not just errors, it’s back-to-back errors. We have to make sure when one person makes an error, defense has to pick it up after that,” LE coach Jeri Hartley said. “Avery (Entler) did a great job in the circle of containing it. That was a rough inning for us that proved costly in the long run.”
The Braves came out swinging in the fourth with a leadoff single from Cheyenne Arnold followed by a double from the bat of Lynsay VanHoose. But a well-executed throw and relay by the Aces cut down Arnold at home plate. After a hit from Callena Wiget, a groundout scored VanHoose to put LE on the board.
Erin Gaskin opened the sixth for LE with a single and then scored on a two-out single from Kylie Smith to pull within 3-2.
A walk and an error gave the Braves two baserunners to start the seventh. A sharp ground ball to hit to Kierstan Williams allowed the second baseman to put a tag on the runner and throw to first for a double play. Williams ended the game when the next batter hit one right at her that she snagged for the final out.
“She hasn’t played there that much; she normally plays in right field,” Hedrick said. “The girl that was playing second was struggling at the plate, so I switched them out and it worked. It makes a coach feel good and look good when it works.
“Our defense was solid tonight, probably the best defensive game we’ve played all year,” Hedrick added. “We really worked on defense last night at practice. I was proud of them the way they played defense tonight. If you’re not going to hit, you better make defensive plays.
“We hit our cutoffs. We really worked on that stuff last night and it all paid off. She hit the cutoff and the girl made a nice throw to the plate and the catcher had the ball in plenty of time and was able to get the tag on her,” he added about the play in the fourth inning.
The Aces collected only two hits on the night off the bats of Liberty Hopper and Logann Julian.
Alford got the win on the mound, going four and a third innings allowing two earned runs on four hits with two strikeouts. Shyanne Miller came on to record the save giving up two hits and a walk.
Entler went the distances for the Braves giving up the three unearned runs, while striking out six and walking three.
VanHoose went 2-3 with a double to lead the Braves while Wiget, Gaskin, Maraya Neff and Smith each singled.
“Once we down 3-0, we got one, and then we came back and got another. We just didn’t get the timely hits when we needed them with runners on third,” Hartley said. “Next time we’ve got to do a better job of getting those runners home.”
The Aces (4-2, 3-2) host Liberty Union Friday and host a doubleheader with Miami Trace Saturday. The Braves (5-5, 2-3) host Circleville Friday.