Miners' Hughes silences Fillies
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Marian shortstop Abbie Burkhardt doesn't get the ball in time to tag Sarag Walasavage of Minersville at second base.
A cold, steady breeze wasn't the only thing blowing around Marian's softball field Friday afternoon.
Minersville's Laykin Hughes was creating some turbulence of her own.
Hughes took the mound for the Lady Miners and fanned 11 Marian batters en route to leading her team to a 12-0 victory. While one run would have been enough to get the win, Minersville pushed seven runs across the plate in the sixth inning to enact the ten-run rule.
Hughes allowed just three hits on the day - all singles - and didn't let a Fillie get past second base. After giving up a bunt single to Marian's Kayla Merchlinsky to lead off the game, Hughes went on to retire the next nine hitters with six of those outs coming via a strikeout. Following another single to start the fourth, Hughes then sat down the next seven before surrendering another base hit in the sixth.
"Marian is always a tough team to beat," said Hughes. "We all came pumped and were able to get things done. This is a great win for us.
"I am happy with the way I pitched today, but I think I can push myself even more. Either way, I am happy just to get the win."
Fellow Miner Mackenzie Stewart helped out by having a great day at the plate. Stewart finished the game 2-for-5 with four RBIs. She had a RBI groundout in the first, a two-run homer in the third and a RBI double in the sixth.
Also knocking in runs for Minersville was Jenna Strubhar and Hughes. Strubhar had a two-run double in the sixth, while Hughes had a RBI double in the same inning. All of the other runs either scored while Marian was attempting to make an out at another base or on an error.
"It was 1-0 after two innings so I thought we did well up until that point," said Marian head coach Joe DeAngelo. "Minersville is just a great program and a great team. They do everything well. They had the home run to pad their lead and added a couple more single runs before that big inning that kind of blew it open."
Marian's pitching wasn't as bad as one might expect. Other than the home run, Kayla Knight had faired quite well through four innings before she was forced to leave with a stinger in her hand. While all four runs she gave up were earned, she did strike out five and kept the game within striking distance.
"I thought Kayla did a nice job except for the pitch to Stewart," said DeAngelo. "Their leadoff hitter (Sarag Walasavage) was on base every time and it made it tough. They are a good team and Kayla battled as best she could. She gave us some good innings, but unfortunately she got a stinger while batting. We had planned on going with her a few more innings."
DeAngelo hit it right on the head when he said Walasavage was on base every time. The freshman was 4-for-4 with four singles and a walk. She stole six bases in the contest - tying a school record - and scored three runs.
Two of Marian's three hits came off the bat of Merchlinsky. She dropped down a beautiful bunt to lead off the bottom of the first and then beat out a grounder in the sixth. Abby Burkhardt had the other hit in the fourth.
"We are just going to turn the page and work on the things we need to do in order to get better," DeAngelo said. "We will come to practice and continue to work. That is all we can do right now. It is still early in the season so we have a long way to go."
Minersville 102 117 - 12 13 0
Marian 000 000 - 0 3 6
Hughes and Brophy; Knight, Nemeth (5) and Curran. W - Hughes. L - Knight. HR: Minersville - Stewart (3rd, one on).