By Ben Robinson
CENTERVILLE — There is a reason Covington stacks its non-league schedule with the best possible competition it can find. Great teams challenge themselves and if you want to be great you play teams like Centerville – a highly respected Division I team in the Dayton Area.
Which is what Covington did on Wednesday in a makeup game that was originally scheduled to be played Monday, but had to be moved due to the weather.
The wait didn’t deter the excitement, however, as the Lady Buccs recorded a thrilling 7-6 come-from-behind win in eight innings.
“The pressure they (Centerville) put on us was good for our team,” said Covington coach Mechelle Heitkamp. “And the girls handled the pressure very well. It was a back-and-forth game and the girls stayed focused the entire time.”
Centerville struck first with three runs in the bottom of the second thanks to a towering home run by Kelly Edsall.
But Covington responded with three runs in the top of the third and two more in the top of the fourth to take a 5-3 lead.
“We hit the ball well the entire game,” said Heitkamp. “Even in the first couple of innings we were hitting the ball and we knew it would be a matter of time before we would score. But we didn’t anticipate them hitting the big home run.”
Edsall didn’t see another pitch to hit throughout the rest of the contest, but Centerville was still able to plate a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth to tie the score once again at 5-5.
“We walked her every time,” Heitkamp said of Edsall. “We were not going to give her anything to hit unless we absolutely had to.”
After back-to-back scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth, both teams scored a run each in the seventh to send the game into extra innings.
Covington’s Justice Warner then started things off in the top of the eighth with a double and Lexie Long put down a sacrifice bunt to move Warner to third.
Emma Dammeyer followed with a towering fly ball into the outfield that allowed Warner to waltz in from third for the 7-6 lead.
From there Covington was able to record the three outs needed to seal the thrilling victory.
“It was a great win for the team because of how they stayed focused even when things weren’t going our way,” said Heitkamp. “There were so many things to overcome. Centerville is a good team and the field conditions, especially in the outfield weren’t very good. But the girls were focused and came ready to play.”
Lexie Long started the contest in the circle and went three-and-two-thirds before Emma Dammeyer came in threw the rest of the way to pick up the win.
“That’s a pretty good combination,” said Heitkamp of Long and Dammeyer. “Lexie threw well and then Emma came in and had enough movement to keep them off balance. They give different looks to batters and that makes it tough on hitters.”
Justice Warner had the big stick for Covington as she connected on a team-high four hits and scored the game-winning run after a double.
Emma Dammeyer and Lexie Long each had two hits, while the Lady Buccs as a team outhit Centerville 13-8.