FREDERICKTOWN — It seems to all be coming together for the Fredericktown Freddies (4-15), and at just the right time.
The Freddies backed up a dominating performance by pitcher Tia VanHouten with airtight defense and timely hitting to bury the Wellington Jaguars, 10-0, in their Division IV sectional semifinal matchup on Tuesday.
VanHouten fired a three-hitter, only walking three batters and striking out five. Most impressively, few Jaguar batters were able to get around on her pitches to even pull the ball.
“We’re just happy to be moving on to the sectional final,” said Fredericktown coach Jeff Keener. “(VanHouten) has been up about 10 games and we needed someone who could throw strikes. It has certainly helped the defense behind us. We could move (Rachael Goeppinger) to the outfield. It’s really boosted us defensively and it has helped us be a better team because she’ll throw strikes and we can make plays and we are starting to believe that we can make plays behind her.”
“All I could really do is try to pitch strikes and try to get it in there,” said VanHouten. “I have to try to get a bigger stride because it’s 43 feet now. I battle through that challenge and we won.”
With fewer defensive blunders, the Freddies are a different team.