By Wade Linville –
A new softball season has begun, and on Saturday, March 25 it was the Eastern Lady Warriors traveling to Georgetown High School to face off against the Lady G-Men in a non-league double-header.
With the majority of their top hitters back from last year’s Southwest District Division IV champion and regional qualifier team, the Lady G-Men enter their 2017 softball campaign with high expectations.
This year’s Lady Warriors are also expecting a great deal of success this season with a skilled crew of young players taking the field.
The Lady Warriors cruised to a 13-3 win in game one of Saturday’s double-header, starting off their season on an excellent note.
“ I thought they played very well,” Eastern head coach Harold Dorsey said of game one. “All in all, I am pleased with how they played in their first outing.”
Starting off at the pitcher’s circle for the Lady G-Men was senior Kassidy Seigla, while freshman Taylor Dotson made her varsity softball pitching debut for the Lady Warriors.
It was three up and three down for the Lady Warriors in the top of the first inning, as Seigla struck out the first batter she faced and the next two batters followed with ground outs.
In her first bat of the season, Seigla smacked a single and later scored to give the Lady G-Men a 1-0 lead. Also swinging for a single in her first official at-bat of the season was Georgetown junior Gracie Keplinger.
The Lady Warriors capitalized off Georgetown errors and got a single from Jayden Koehler to bring home two runs in the top of the second inning, rising to a 2-1 lead.
Georgetown’s Destiny Barnes swung for a triple to right-center in the bottom of the third inning.
With one out and one runner on, there was some miscommunication by the Lady Warriors on a fly ball off the bat of Keplinger, allowing Barnes to reach home plate to tie the game at two apiece.
After a scoreless fourth inning, the Lady Warrior bats heated up in the top of the fifth.
After Koehler lined out to Georgetown’s Mackenie Bridges at third base, Eastern’s Emily Bradford swung for a single with Whitney Broughton coming in to pinch run. Eastern’s Kameron Tomlin then reached base off a ground ball to third base. Broughton would later steal home to lift the Lady Warriors to a 3-2 lead, then it was Tomlin scoring off a hit by Andrea Edmisten.
Eastern’s Maggie Dorsey kept the fifth inning hitting spree going for the Lady Warriors, hammering out a long fly ball to right-center which dropped in, bringing home Edmisten to expand the Eastern lead to 5-2.
Eastern’s Brittany Koewler then cranked out a run-scoring single to the right side to lift the Lady Warriors to a 6-2 advantage, and what followed was a double off the bat of Eastern’s Allison Malott.
Eastern’s Rheanna Newman singled to right field to bring home two more runs for the Lady Warriors, leaving the Lady G-Men trailing 8-2.
Eastern’s Payton Dorsey and Koehler both swung for singles to load the bases, and a single by Broughton scored two more runs to widen the margin to 10-2.
Georgetown freshman Autumn Grant replaced Seigla at the pitcher’s circle.
The Lady Warriors packed the bases once again as Tomlin took a base-on-balls and Edmisten swung for a single.
A sacrifice fly by Maggie Dorsey expanded the Eastern lead to 12-2 just before a ground out to Seigla at third base ended the side.
Seigla took a base-on-balls and was able to score off a single by Keplinger to cut the Eastern lead to 12-3 and avoid a loss by mercy rule.
Following a run-less sixth inning, Tomlin singled in the top of the seventh inning and later scored off a hit by Maggie Dorsey to give the Lady Warriors a 13-3 lead.
Dotson and the Eastern defense were able to hold the Lady G-Men scoreless in the bottom of the seventh inning to cap-off the 10-run victory.
Seigla and Dotson returned to the pitcher’s circle to start game two of the double-header.
Seigla would pitch for an 11-9 Lady G-Men victory in an exciting game two.
The Lady G-Men’s top four hitters were most productive in game two, leading off with Kassidy Seigla who went 4-4 batting with a double and six stolen bases, Destiny Barnes went 3-3 batting with a double and three RBIs, Isabelle Elliot who batted 1-3 with a triple and two RBIs, and Keplinger who batted 4-4 with a three-run homer and five RBIs.
“Being early in the season, I knew we would have our moments where the game may get away from us. In the first game, we had one inning where Eastern just put the ball in play. Not much you can do about a hit, but field it clean and get it to the infield. We struggled in coverages and our outfield missed a few opportunities to get outs. Our top 5 hitters went five-for-17 scoring all of our runs. I communicated that they just need to be better as a group,” said Georgetown head coach Gar Seigla. “I felt we showed good poise coming back to win game two. Bringing Kassidy back in at the beginning of the second inning shut them down offensively and we adjusted our pitch selection to mix in more off speed since she was working ahead in the count.”
Looking back at Saturday’s double-header, Gar Seigla was pleased with his team’s performance this early in the season, but there is still much room for improvement.
“Overall, we are young in certain key areas of the game,” said Gar Seigla. “I continue hammering home coverages in certain situations. stressing that players are engaged with what to do next if the ball is hit to them. Another piece is our infield echoing situations to the outfield, telling them where to go if the ball gets to the outfield. Lastly, getting production at the plate from the bottom of the order. As good as our top five hitters were in game two, our bottom half of the order simply was not productive, going two-for-15. They must contribute more for us to win ball games.”
The Lady Warriors were scheduled to face the North Adams Lady Green Devils in a road game on March 28.
The Lady G-Men were scheduled to face Amelia in a road game on March 28.