Three-run fifth leads Danville to 7-3 victory over Casey

April 28, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Even when his team was leading, Casey County coach Andy Stephens knew his team was asking for trouble.

"For the first four innings we were flirting with disaster," said Stephens. "I knew it eventually would get to us, and it did."

Host Danville stranded 11 runners on base in the first four innings before a three-run fifth inning sparked a 7-3 victory over Casey (9-7) here Tuesday.

"We are just leaving too many people on base," Danville coach Jerry Perry said. "We left 11 on in four innings. We can't keep doing that. We've got to start getting some key hits to get our offense going more."


The Admirals finally started doing that in the fifth inning. Liz Ruth reached on an error before Jerrica Punts bunted for a hit. Renee Chiu followed with a double to score one run before Monica Vonderbrink put down a perfect sacrifice bunt to score Potts from third. Chelsea Wallace followed with a sacrifice fly to the center field wall to score Chiu and give Danville (10-9) a 6-3 lead.

"Monica is one of our better hitters, but she's not been hitting well lately. She's been hitting a lot of fly balls," Perry said. "She's a very good bunter and I just felt like we needed to get the run in, especially after Renee had finally got a big hit like that for us. We traded an out for a run, which was fine."

After struggling early, Wallace settles down

That was more than enough support for Wallace. The eighth-grade pitcher gave up two runs in the first inning after Lindsay Wilson and Tori Clements opened the game with singles and scored on a sacrifice fly by Leslie Grider and ground out by Felicia Luttrell. Wilson also hit a home run over the left field fence to tie the game 3-3 in the fifth.

However, Wallace retired the final seven hitters and 11 of the last 12 after giving up four hits in the first three innings. She struck out three and did not walk a batter.

"Chelsea did struggle a little early. She had a hole in her shoe and taped it up," Perry said. "That seemed to throw her off just a bit. But they also hit the ball well, especially at the top of the lineup."

However, Danville did not commit an error to support Wallace and wiped out a potential run when Clements was thrown out at the plate in the third inning trying to score from second on a single by Grider. Amber Wood relayed a throw to Wallace and she fired to catcher Billie Rehberg, who blocked the plate and tagged out Clements.

Casey commits five errors

Casey's defense committed five errors to help Danville's offense. In the fourth inning the Ads scored two runs without getting a ball out of the infield. Potts and Chiu walked before Vonderbrink singled. Potts, though, got caught rounding third base too far and was thrown out.

After Wallace was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Frye hit a grounder to second base. Clements tried to throw out Chiu at home but the throw was late. Wood followed with a ground ball that Lindsay Wilson, who had just moved from pitcher to shortstop, mishandled to allow Vonderbrink to score.

"We're just making too many little errors," Stephens said after his team's fifth straight loss. "We also are not hitting the ball at the bottom of our lineup. Early we won games by scoring a lot of runs. Our pitching is not overpowering. We have to field the ball and hit the ball. Today we didn't do that, not with five errors and five walks."

Wilson and Clements both had two hits for Casey as the top five hitters produced six hits. The bottom four hitters did not have a hit for the Rebels.

Danville's nine-hit attack was led by Potts and Morgan Young, who each had two hits. Seven of Danville's nine starters had hits.

"The middle and bottom of our order is hitting fine," Perry said. "If we get our top three hitters going, we are goingn to be fine.

"We've been making a lot fewer errors the last four or five games. We had to make some good plays today because Casey hit the ball hard. We were just fortunate to make the plays and finally get the few key hits it took to win."

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