Braves turn the table on Tigers

By Brad Morris

Five days can make a difference.

After losing 14-5 last Thursday against rival Circleville, Logan Elm came into town on Monday and turned the tables to defeat the host Tigers 5-2 in a Mid-State League Buckeye Division game.

“We knew we had to pick things up after losing to Circleville last week,” Logan Elm shortstop Lynsay VanHoose said. “We had a couple of days of good preparation where we refocused, and (coach Jeri Hartley) talked to us about playing like we had nothing to lose.”

The Braves used all three of their pitchers in last Thursday’s loss and surrendered 15 hits.

Freshman pitcher Sadie Binkley went the distance on Monday, allowing five hits and a pair of earned runs. She walked a pair of batters and struck out six in a 116-pitch outing that featured 72 strikes.

“Honestly, I think I was a little too intense last week facing Circleville for the first time and I needed to calm down this time around and just pitch,” Binkley said. “I used the different plains of the strike zone more than I did last week and I worked hard to get ahead in the count.

“Our defense also had my back. There were a few balls that Circleville hit hard that our defense tracked down and gave me a big lift.”

Logan Elm’s Sadie Binkley tossed a complete game on Monday in a 5-2 win over Circleville. Photos by Brad Morris/

The Braves reached the scoreboard first in the second.

Ryleigh Wolfe reached on an error with one out and was joined on the base pads when Taylor Fowler walked and Tia Fowler reached when Circleville’s left and center fielder miscommunicated on a fly ball that dropped in for a single.

Peyton Richendollar then grounded out to second, allowing Wolfe to score.

Logan Elm expanded its advantage to 4-0 in the fourth.

Taylor Fowler worked a four-pitch walk with one out and Tia Fowler reached on an error. After Richendollar sacrificed the runners over, Kaitlyn Otterbacher drew a walk to load the bases for VanHoose, who ripped a double into the left center field gap to unload the bases.

“I haven’t been swinging the bat as well as I’ve been wanting to, but I knew I needed to come through right there with the bases loaded,” VanHoose said. “(Circleville pitcher Chandler Hayes) had been pitching me on the inside corner, so that’s what I looked for again and I got a pitch that I could get the barrel of my bat on.”

The Braves tacked on an insurance run in the fifth.

Jacie Clifton, Wolfe and Taylor Fowler loaded the bases with one out on a trio of singles. Tia Fowler then worked a walk to force in Clifton.

Logan Elm’s Ryleigh Wolfe singled and scored.

Logan Elm coach Jeri Hartley discussed her team’s approach at the plate and bouncing back to split the season series with Circleville.

“We did a nice job of manufacturing runs when we needed to, being patient and having some good at-bats to work some walks and then Lynsay came through for us with the big hit of the game into the gap that scored three runs,” she said. “Sadie competed well in the circle and controlled most of the game and our defense picked it up from how we played last week against Circleville.

“We had all three phases of the game that we needed tonight to beat a good team on the road.”

Circleville finally responded with both of its runs in the sixth.

Hayes walked and scored when Cara Cooper tripled to center. Ella Michael then flew out to center to score Cooper.

The Tigers brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, but Binkley coaxed a fly out to center to end the game.

Circleville coach Dave Truex wasn’t pleased with his team’s approach at the plate.

“We basically did a 180 from last Thursday and instead of working for our pitches to hit, we settled on the pitches that Binkley wanted us to hit,” he said. “I also felt that Logan Elm was more focused than we were and played with more hunger, and you could see the result out there on the field.”

Binkley had a pair of hits for the Braves and McConnell also had two knocks for the Tigers.

Both teams return to action on Tuesday, as the Braves (10-6, 5-4) host Waverly for a non-league game and the Tigers (12-5, 5-3) travel to Fairfield Union to resume a suspended league game.

Circleville first baseman Katie Folkes looks to grab a throw.

Logan Elm 5, Circleville 2
Logan Elm 010 310 0 — 5 7 1
Circleville 000 002 0 —2 5 2
Binkley and Otterbacher; Hayes, McConnell (5) and Michael and Hayes (5).

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