CENTERBURG — The Danville Blue Devils erupted for four runs in the sixth inning and pitcher Kat Mickley tossed another gem as they survived the bitter cold to defeat the host Centerburg Trojans, 4-2, in Mid-Buckeye Conference softball action on Tuesday.
With the temperature at 40 degrees and the winds adding to the misery, Mickley and Centerburg pitcher Lindsay Mapes each had a shutout going through the first five innings.
Mickley, who fanned eight, was dominant when she kept the ball between the belt and the knees. Most of her pitches above the belt were shoulder-high and a few hitters were tempted to chase them.
“She did a nice job locating her pitches,” Danville coach Mike Beheler said of Mickley. “She’s just been a real competitor. I kept asking her how she was in case I had to take her out, but there wasn’t anybody who was going to take her out. She was a true competitor today.”
Mapes, who struck out seven, had only allowed three hits through five innings, but appeared to be losing a little zip on her fastball by the sixth. After getting Danville catcher Darci Lauderbaugh to ground to short, Mapes hit third baseman Deanna Parker with a pitch. Designated player Emily Pew then drove a 2-1 pitch into right-centerfield for an RBI double to break the scoreless deadlock.
“It feels really good because I haven’t hit in a really long time,” said Pew. “It feels really good to be 4-and-0 in the MBC.”
First baseman Olivia Rice followed with a single to give Danville runners at the corners. The next batter was Danville right fielder Molly Alberts, who had made a nice running catch in the previous inning to strand a pair of Centerburg runners. With one out and two aboard in the sixth, Alberts smacked a 2-run double to the fence in right-centerfield, giving the Blue Devils a 3-0 lead.