In a battle of rival schools – Eastside and Newton – the Lady Eagles prevailed with ease topping their county rival 15-3.
It began as a close game, the Lady Eagles struck first as McKenzie Powell laid down a bunt to score Caitlin Ray who got on with a double to center. An error scored one more run for the Lady Eagles and they were up 2-0 early in the top of the first.
A triple by the Lady Rams’ Ciara Bryan started off the inning for Newton a throwing error by Ray allowed Bryan to score on a hit from Katie Ammons. Ammons would steal third on a passed ball before scoring on the next hit. Newton ended the inning in a tie game at 2-2.
However, that would be most of the offense Newton had, despite Madison Chronic pitching well, the Lady Rams made a bevy errors that led to the 15-3 loss. Eastside’s Molly Moon gave up just four hits and showed a lot of command in the circle.
“She threw very, very well so I’m very pleased with her mound appearance today. I thought she let the defense work and she pitched very well for us today,” Heather Wood, Eastside head coach, said.
The Lady Eagles hit the ball over the field and left the mistakes up to Newton. Eastside laid down bunts well and forced the Lady Rams to make plays that they couldn’t.
“I was very pleased with our offensive approach at the plate. I thought we did well at executing the bunts in situations we needed them down, but overall very pleased with our at-bats. I know we’ve had a rocky start offensively as a whole team so this is great momentum for us as we go into our region games this week,” Wood said.
Though the Lady Eagles did have some errors in the early innings, they bounced back, but Wood says she wants her team to play consistent, something they’ve been struggling with this season.
“Sometimes that is a pattern for us,” Wood said on the errors. “There’s been moments throughout the season, those errors have really cost us, but we were fortunate to bounce back with our at-bats.”
“That’s crucial and that’s something we’ve really been working on at practice, to reduce the number of errors. We’ve gotten into some trouble in the earlier games in the season with that, but overall I am pleased with our defense today.”
“There were even moments where I felt like we were a little flat and they had some momentum gainage there so we had to really get on them about playing the full innings and not to get lax at all on defense or offense,” she added.
For Newton, it’s just another tale of the team that can play really well until they start making errors. The Lady Rams played well and then they let their mistakes set it and they weren’t able to get past them, it’s been an issue they’ve dealt with all season.
“I think it’s because even though we’re preaching positivity and we’re trying to do that. It’s very hard when you’re making simple mistakes to stay positive, and I think one or two people get down on themselves and it mentally messes up,” Ashley Coles, Lady Rams’ ehad coach, said. “When they get that next play, they’re thinking about the last play. That’s something that we struggled with the entire season at this point.”
“We’re gonna make some changes on the defense because we’ve got two people in the outfield, who I love them they try very hard, but they’re just not experienced,” Coles said. “I guess I was expecting to find the diamond in the rough and at this point I think they can be something in the future, but I think I might be putting a little too much pressure on them to begin with right now.”
Newton dropped to 0-7 on the season and the Lady Eagles improved to 2-5.