APRIL 15, 2016 - COVINGTON
The Covington Lady Buccs improved their record to 11-1 on the season and 5-0 in the CCC with a convincing 13-4 win over National Trail on Friday, but you won't find many smiles in the Lady Bucc dugout.
That's because of the five recorded errors in the field and the half dozen mental mistakes made throughout the contest.
"We're not playing like a Covington team," said Covington coach Dean Denlinger. "We had way too many mental mistakes from a lack of focus."
And Denlinger isn't about to put all of the blame all on his kids.
"It starts with me," he continued. "I made some mental mistakes too. We all have to take ownership and get better. I have to get better."
National Trail came out on fire as its first two batters started the game with base hits. The Lady Blazers then loaded the bases with one out, but Covington was able to get out of the jam without any damage on the scoreboard.
"They hit the ball well," said Denlinger of National Trail. "They had ten hits against us tonight."
Covington responded in the bottom of the first by scoring five runs, much of it due to executing small ball.
Two key moments in the inning were when power hitters Brooke Gostomsky and Lexie Long dropped down perfect bunts to squeeze in two runs.
"We executed some small ball early," Denlinger said.
National Trail once again loaded the bases with one out in the second inning, but Brooke Gostomsky was able to force a popup to Allison Babylon at first and a strikeout to get out of the jam once again.
And Covington pushed its advantage to 7-0 with a run in the second and one in the fourth inning.
National Trail got on the board with a run in the top of the fifth, but the Lady Buccs reclaimed the momentum with a run in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a home run by Lexie Long - her second on back-to-back nights.
"We hit the ball hard," Denlinger said.
Trailing 8-1, National Trail wasn't about to lay down and quit. Instead, the Blazers battled back by scoring three runs in the top of the sixth to cut the margin to 8-4.
But Covington had too much offensive firepower as it scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth and then closed out the Blazers in the top of the seventh for the 13-4 win.
Kara Schaffer continues her hot hitting with three hits and a double, while Justice Warner went 4-for-4 with a double and both Allison Babylon and Ashley Cecil went 3-for-3 with triples.
Sarah Hubbard went 2-for-4 with a double and Lexie Long homered.
It all led to yet another win for Covington, but a more intense focus on improving as a team.
"Our bar is set high and we aren't playing to that standard right now," said Denlinger. "And it all starts with me. We have Kenton Ridge coming in here tomorrow and we'll need to play better if we expect to beat them. That's a solid team."
SCORE BY INNINGS:
National Trail - 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 - 4 10 - 2
Covington - 5 1 0 1 1 5 X 13 - 16 - 5