APRIL 18, 2017 - NEW PARIS
Covington's 21-1 five-inning victory over National Trail could very well be the springboard for a memorable season for the Lady Buccs.
First, it came against a very good and underrated softball team - a team who coming off of a 4-2 victory over a quality Bradford team and has quietly put together a solid first half of the season.
Second, it came after Covington had struggled of late - dropping four of the past six games - including a 10-0 run-rule loss to state ranked Greenville and back-to-back losses to state ranked Kenton Ridge in a double header on Saturday.
"The girls were putting too much pressure on themselves," said Covington coach Mechelle Heitkamp of the recent losses. "Tonight I thought they relaxed and had fun."
Playing relaxed and having fun was the key for Covington as it didn't let a mistake in the first inning snowball into additional mistakes that would keep National Trail in the game.
Instead, the Lady Buccs put the mistake behind them by breaking the game open with seven runs in the second inning to take a 9-1 lead.
The hitting then became contagious as virtually the entire roster contributed in a season-high 26-hit performance.
"We hit the ball like crazy against a pretty good pitcher," said Heitkamp. "We switched up some hitting drills in practice yesterday and the girls thought it really helped. We were popping up a lot of pitches, but today we were hitting line drives."
With the Lady Buccs in a zone at the plate, Covington scored a run in the third, seven in the fourth and four more in the fifth for the 21-1 win.
Emma Dammeyer and Lexie Long split the duties in the circle, while the defense behind them was solid throughout - only committing the one error in the first inning.
Dammeyer helped out her cause at the plate with five hits on five at bats, while Ashley Cecil and Sarah Hubbard both connected on four hits and Kenzie Long had a bases-clearing triple in the top of the fifth.
But the difference in the game for Covington was its mindset - a mindset on relaxing and having fun.
"We needed this," said Heitkamp of Covington's big game. "Hopefully the girls continue to relax, have fun and we can go on a long winning streak."
With the win Covington improves to 9-4 on the season. Next up is another tough outing at Tri-County North on Thursday.
SCORE BY INNINGS:
Covington - 2 7 1 7 4 X X - 21 - 26 - 1
National Trail - 1 0 0 0 0 X X - 1 - 3 - 1