APRIL 2, 2016 - COVINGTON
It was a miserably cold day for softball with gusty winds, rain and sleet, but the Covington Lady Bucks were able to overcome the elements to sweep a very potent Indian Lake team in a double-header on Saturday - both games being five-inning contests.
"It's always good to win, but what I'm most proud of the girls for is how they responded to this weather," said Covington coach Dean Denlinger. "I'm telling you, it was tough out there. It was cold, windy, just miserable weather to play in - but the effort of the girls never wavered."
And Covington had to overcome some adversity beyond the weather as well.
"(Ashley) Cecil did something to her arm before the game, so she was out," Denlinger explained. "Emma (Dammeyer) still isn't back from her injury, so she's out. Then we had Zip (Allison Babylon) get cleated at first and she has a deep cut on her heal, so we couldn't throw her in the second game."
This caused Denlinger to go away from his original plans.
"We had two freshman we had to go too, Makenna (Gostomsky) in center for Cecil and then we had to use Chelsea (Ford) differently," continued Denlinger. "Plus, we wanted to throw three pitchers, but had to use Schaffer more than what we planned."
Still Covington was able to respond to every adverse situation thrown it was as it jumped on Indians Lake with four runs in the first inning of the opening game.
After Indian Lake scored a run in the top of the second, the Lady Buccs responded with a towering three-run home run by Justice Warner in the second for a 7-1 lead.
The visitors scored a run in the top of the fourth, but Covington reclaimed the momentum with two more runs in the bottom of the inning. The Lady Buccs recorded the three outs needed in the top of the fifth to preserve the win.
In the opening game, Covington pounded out eight hits with two hits each coming from Arianna Richards, Sarah Hubbard and Allison Babylon.
Warner had the home run and Megan Alexander also had a hit, while Brooke Gvstomnsky picked up the win in the circle and Kara Schaffer recorded the save.
After a lunch break, the two teams returned to the field for the second game of the double-header as the wind picked up even more.
With Babylon unable to pitch or play in the field, Schaffer got the start and Indian Lake opened up the contest with three runs in the top of the first.
Covington responded with seven runs in the bottom half of the inning and then pushed the lead to 11-3 with four runs in the bottom of the second as Lexie Long drilled a three-run home run that landed just inches from the parking lot.
Indian Lake responded with two runs in the third and two more in the fourth thanks to a pair of home runs, but Covington pushed its lead to 14-7 with three runs in the bottom of the fourth.
The visitors just would relent, however, as they plated three runs in the top of the fifth and had the tying run at the plate with two outs.
Fortunately, Covington was able to force a pop-up to end matters.
"That's a really strong hitting team," said Denlinger of Indian Lake. "They have the one girl who has committed to West Virginia and she hit just about every type of pitch we could throw at her. But even with a different defensive lineup, we played solid defense. Makenna (Gostomsky) made some nice plays for us in center."
Schaffer got the win in the circle, while Brooke Gostomsky picked up the save.
Lexie Long was 2-for-2 with a three-run homer, while Justice Warner, Brooke Gostomsky and Kara Schaffer all went 2-for-3 with a double apiece. Even though she was injured, Allison Babylon was able to limp her way to a 2-for-3 day at the plate, while Sarah Hubbard had a base hit.
The two wins move the Lady Buccs' record to 6-1 on the young season as they look for improved health (and weather) on Monday at Minster.
"We've got a big week next week with five game in six days, and four of them are on the road," said Denlinger. "Hopefully (Ashley) Cecil and Zip (Allison Babylon) will be able to go. If not, we'll need some of the other girls to step up like they did today."
GAME ONE: SCORE BY INNINGS:
Indian Lake - 0 1 0 1 0 = 2 5 1
Covington - 4 3 0 2 X = 9 8 0
GAME TWO: SCORE BY INNINGS:
Indian Lake - 3 0 2 2 3 = 11 12 1
Covington - 7 4 0 3 X = 14 11 1