by Josh Stevens
Sophomore Heather Lord’s sacrifice bunt allowed freshman McKenna Smith to cross home plate and give Cedarville their second win in the doubleheader against Ohio Dominican on Friday. The Lady Jackets (11-9, 2-0 G-MAC), in their first two home games, won both contests 3-2 against the Panthers (10-15, 0-2 G-MAC) and started conference play with two big wins.
“It’s huge,” head coach Wes Rowe said of the two victories. “That’s a quality team, and they’ll be at the G-MAC tournament at the end of the year. I have no doubt about it.”
Good defense was a key component in both of the wins. The Lady Jackets had zero errors in both games.
“We played outstanding defense,” coach Rowe said. “And when you play a doubleheader without a single error, then you give yourself a chance to compete.”
The defense was not the only impressive feat for the Lady Jackets. Junior Morgan Arbogast played exceptionally in the first game, pitching all seven innings and throwing 10 strikeouts.
“When you pitch the way we pitched today it gives us a chance to compete against anybody.” Coach Rowe said.
Sophomore Kara Eigenger was the key offensive weapon for the Lady Jackets in the first game, getting three hits on three at bats with two RBIs. Her first RBI allowed junior Avary Humes to score and gave the Lady Jackets the lead in the first inning. The Lady Jackets kept the lead and secured the first game of the doubleheader.
After another strong start in the second game, the Lady Jackets found themselves down 2-1 in the sixth inning. But a groundout from sophomore Danae Fields allowed Heather Lord to score and tie it up at the bottom of the sixth to give the Jackets life. At the bottom of the seventh with the game still tied, Heather Lord again came up to bat.
“I was telling myself ‘don’t step out of the box and get called out’,” Lord said, “’and get the bunt on the ground.’”
She did just that as Smith dove into home plate and sealed the victory for the Lady Jackets.
“We played some nice small ball to win the game.” coach Rowe said of the walk-off victory.
The two G-MAC wins give the Lady Jackets an early tie with Findlay for first place in the standings. The Lady Jackets look to continue the momentum as they host Salem (1-15) on Monday then hit the road for games against Ohio Valley (2-13, 0-1 G-MAC) on Tuesday.
“I’m just super enthused with this group of girls,” coach Rowe said, “and we’re coming along.”
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