WEST ALEXANDRIA – After a short trip across town for a win against Union City, the Mississinawa Valley Lady Blackhawks had to journey down to Twin Valley South for a conference game.
The long drive was worth the trip as the Blackhawks went home with a 16-4 victory. Freshman pitcher Taylor Collins notched the victory, going the entire distance.
Although she did allow the bases to get loaded a couple of times, she was able to bear down and pitch her way out of trouble. She also did a good job as a batter, although her early base running probably gave her coaches a few gray hairs.
In the first inning, Collins stretched a single into a double by running through a stop sign by the first base coach. The throw to second was on the mark, but the tag was high. This gamble paid off, though, as she was able to score Mississinawa’s first run of the game later that inning.
Collins continued to build the lead in the second inning with a solid triple that scored two more runs to end the inning with a 3-2 lead. She would end the night 2-for-4 at the plate with both hits for extra bases.
“She tried again in the late innings to get an extra run across so that we could put them away, but that time it did not work – she ended up getting throw out going for an extra base,” MV softball coach Ray Lutz said. “But yeah, she had a good night at the plate.
“She is just a freshman and hasn’t pitched at all in a couple of years. She struggled in some of her other games early this season. But this game she really came around. She showed maturity as she was able to work her way out of situations with runners on the bases. She was able to pitch her way out of a jam. The results show for themselves – she only gave up four runs. She is growing and that is only going to be good for our program.”
The Blackhawks broke the game open with an eight-run third inning. They had a scoring lull when they only scored a single run in the next couple of innings. Then they got the bats out and put the Panthers away for good with a four-run sixth inning.
“The team played hard,” Lutz said. “We started off kind of rough. We battled back and forth against South early. Then our bats came alive, and we were able to score a lot of runs tonight.”
The Blackhawks have a night off then they enter a three-game stretch of back-to-back games. First up is fellow Cross County Conference team Arcanum.
“We know that they are going to hit the ball well. That is one through nine in the lineup,” Lutz said. “We will have to play ball. They are a smart team and will hit it in spots where you are not. We will have to play good defense against them.”