KEYSTONE HEIGHTS - Like a cliff hangar novel that had you glued to the book, the visiting Middleburg Lady Broncos brought it when they visited the Keystone Lady Indians for the penultimate game of …
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS - Like a cliff hangar novel that had you glued to the book, the visiting Middleburg Lady Broncos brought it when they visited the Keystone Lady Indians for the penultimate game of the season as both teams were blanked 0-0 through five innings. Back and forth with a runner here, a runner there, both teams had the fans glued to the action. With a stiff wind blowing in from the outfield, the teams had their challenges set. Through six innings, the Broncos had hits, but could not get anyone to complete the trip. The Indians were in the same seat until they finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Asked what made the difference through five innings, Keystone Heights Head Coach Jessica Marquart said “I think we were swinging at bad pitches. We were not being disciplined at the plate. Once they made the adjustment in the box, they started hitting the ball on the ground. We proved Middleburg can catch fly balls.”
In the bottom of the sixth inning, it was showtime for the Indians. Alaina Kinsal started the show with a full count single to center field to get her safely onboard. Kiley Channell followed with a blistering line drive right back to center field to notch an RBI double to finally break the ice and get the Indians on the board 1-0; and the intensity built. Channell took matters into her own hands and stole third to have another threat loaded and ready with no outs; and the drama meter goes up another notch. Madison Mitzel walked to get two onboard. After a pop out, Abbie Roach grounded into a fielder’s choice to catch Channell out at home plate for two outs. With only one run across and two outs, the Broncos liked their chances to get away pretty easy with the single run.
But the Indians said not so fast as this novel was not in the final chapter just yet. The play at the plate had the two other runners both in scoring position on second and third base. Delia Johnson nailed a bullet line drive to left field that scored both Mitzel and Roach. The two RBI double was exactly what the Indians needed to put the heavy pressure on the Broncos. After the third out, it was all on the bats of the Broncos to try to even things up. The Broncos could do no better than a single runner on as the pop-up fairy would visit the Broncos at the wrong time to bring the final out in the 3-0 thriller.
Starting district play Tuesday, Marquart had her eye on the one thing she feels the girls need to do to make the difference. “I really think we need to be a little better in the box. We need to be selective on our pitches, swing at better pitches, not pop them up by finding the middle of the ball and just do what we do.”
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