By Ben Robinson
COVINGTON — The Covington Lady Buccs recorded their second straight run-rule victory to start the season with a 17-6 win over New Bremen in six innings on Friday, but there were several aspects of the game that Dean Denlinger feels his team must improve on in a hurry.
“We’re not communicating well right now,” said Denlinger. “We’re making a lot of mistakes defensively because were not communicating as a team.”
The game was played on a very cold, windy afternoon, which may have contributed to mistakes, but great teams find a way to overcome any conditions.
“I know it’s hard to keep your focus when it’s that cold and I could see that they were shivering when I called a timeout and went out to talk to them,” explained Denlinger. “But at the same time, that’s not an excuse for not communicating.”
Still, what pleased Denlinger is the way his team responded at the plate with 17 runs on 16 hits, including five home runs.
“We hit the ball hard, that’s for sure,” Denlinger said. “What did we have, five home runs? I don’t think that’s happened since I’ve been here and we have a young team.”
Senior Haley Adams, who committed to the University of Northwestern Ohio this week, drove two home runs in direct center, while junior Morgan Arbogast, sophomore Brooke Gostomsky and freshman Lexie Long went yard to left field.
Granted, the wind was gusting toward left field, but two more would have likely went out if they didn’t blow foul.
After leaving two stranded in the first, Covington broke open a scoreless game with a five-run second inning in which Adams recorded her first home run.
After a Covington error led to New Bremen run in the third, the Lady Buccs had bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the inning. Unfortunately the Lady Buccs could only manage to bring in one of the runners and left the bases loaded to end the inning.
New Bremen scored again in the fourth inning to cut the deficit to 6-2, but Covington responded with another five-run inning — once again capped by another home run by Adams.
As the wind increased and the temperatures dropped, both teams started to struggle in the field.
Covington’s troubles snowballed in the fourth and New Bremen was able to capitalize with some clutch hits in the gaps to put four runs on the board and cut the margin to 11-6.
After being refocused by Denlinger, Covington once again responded at the plate as freshman Lexi Long connected on a three-run homer to push the lead to 14-6.
Covington then close out the game in the bottom of the sixth inning with a solo home run by Arbogast to lead off the inning and then a two-run, walk-off home run by Brooke Gostomsky two batter later.
The win improves Covington to 2-0 as it plays host to Centerville and Fairborn today in a double header.
The Buccs will play Fairborn at 10 a.m. and Centerville at 2 p.m., with the two GWOC schools playing each other at noon.