Prep Softball: Danville downs Lincoln County 5-1
Danville¿s Kasey Young follows through on a three-run triple in the second inning of the Admirals¿ 5-1 win at Lincoln County on Tuesday. Young had two hits for Danville, which has won five straight and seven of its last eight games. (Hal Morris / April 11, 2012)
The Danville sophomore got her first varsity experience last season, but has grown from that and feels at ease pitching this year.
“Last year it was my first time pitching in a high school game, so I wasn’t as experienced,” Carson said. “I wasn’t as confident last year because it was my first time, but now I am.”
Carson showed that confidence Tuesday, striking out 10 batters and walking two in a 5-1 victory at Lincoln County in a 45th District game.
“She’s doing better at changing speed. She’s got to be able to change speed or people will hit it hard,”¿Danville coach Jerry Perry said. “But she’s doing really well, but I don’t know if she’s where she was at the end of last year yet, though. I thought at the end of last year she threw really well.”
Carson’s teammates gave her plenty of run support early, staking her to a 5-0 lead after two innings as Danville (9-8, 1-0 district) won its fifth straight game.
The Admirals manufactured their first run, and took advantage of one of three Lincoln errors.
Kayla Breitenbach drew a one-out walk, then stole second and went to third when the throw went to center. After Taylor Estes walked, the Admirals pulled off a double steal, as Breitenbach scored for a 1-0 lead.
In the second, Carson led off with a walk and Tiffany Harper came in to run. Grace Fons, playing in her first game this season, hit a grounder to Cooper at second, who tried to tag Harper and missed and could not get Fons at first.
Breanna Turpin followed with a bunt single to load the bases.
Kasey Young then took a Gabby Gabriel pitch the opposite way to right field for a bases-clearing triple to give Danville a 4-0 lead. Young then came home when Kayla Breitenbach reached on an error to make it 5-0.
“We got lucky early. I felt it was good base-running when we got that first run. In the second inning, we got lucky,” Perry said. “They had the ball but weren’t decisive, and that let us get the bases loaded. Then Kasey comes up and get a triple and that’s the ballgame.”
It was not making the simple plays that cost Lincoln (9-8, 0-2).
“We need to make routine plays, and we didn’t do that. And good teams like Danville are going to make you pay when you do that. And they got a great pitching performance,” Lincoln coach Kevin Bandura said. “And when you give them two or three runs early on, it really changes the complexion of the game because even when we get runners on, with a five-run deficit it takes away your small game.
“You’re not able to bunt, you’re not able to steal. You’ve got to sit back and wait to string some hits together, and we were unable to do so.”
Lincoln had seven hits, including two each from Kellie Conley and Chelsea Marcum, but the Patriots never could get a big inning going.
Their only run came in the bottom of the sixth.
Already down 5-0, Conley led off with a double to right field, then came home on Marcum’s one-out single to left.
Danville had a chance to add to that lead in the seventh. Kayla Breitenbach singled and tried to go to third when Estes reached on an error, but was thrown out. Emma Breitenbach then singled, but the Admirals could not push a run across. Perry wanted to see a run score when the Admirals had the chance.
“That can come back to get you,” he said. “We tried to tell our girls to be aggressive, but at the same time, we’ve got to be a little smarter.”
The Patriots, on the other hand, had few chances to score.
In the third inning, Morgan Cooper and Alyssa Meece drew one-out walks, but Carson struck out Gabriel, then got Mary Beth Hogue to ground out to end the threat.
In the fifth, Cooper reached on an error and went to second on another Danville error with two out, but again Carson got Hogue to ground out to short to end the inning.
Gabriel settled down after the second inning, only allowing four hits over the final four innings, striking out seven batters and walking three.
“She gave up a couple of hits late, but after the third inning she settled in and did a good job of keeping them off-balance,”¿Bandura said. “Young’s hit really cost us. But really that was the only hard-hit ball that she gave up, but unfortunately it was with the bases loaded.
“But that’s what good players do, they make you pay when you make a mistakes. Of all the pitches that’s probably the one she’d like to have back.”
Danville 140 000 0 — 5 7 2
Lincoln County 000 001 0 — 1 7 3
Bailey Carson and Taylor Estes. Gabby Gabriel and Mary Beth Hogue. W—Carson. L—Gabriel. 2B—Kellie Conley (LC). 3B—Kasey Young (D).