By Ben Robinson
PLEASANT HILL — Who were those girls in Covington uniforms?
That was the question on the mind of every Buccaneer supporter as they watched the Lady Buccs commit six errors in the first two innings against Ben Logan in the opening game of the Newton Strike Out Cancer Classic on Saturday.
It resulted in nine runs for Ben Logan – all of which would have been prevented if Covington made the routine plays.
“We didn’t look good at all,” said Covington coach Michelle Heitkamp. “I didn’t know what was happening. I don’t want to see that team again.”
Ben Logan did what good teams do – what Covington has done for years – take advantage of mistakes by the opponent. Thanks to extra swings at the plate from the errors, Ben Logan cranked two towering home runs in the first two innings – both after the Lady Buccs should have been out of the inning.
This made for a difficult outing for starting pitcher Lexie Long, who did her job by forcing Ben Logan to hit pitches that were playable for the defense. Unfortunately the defense behind her didn’t help her out and forced Long to throw more pitches then she should have in four innings of work.
Stunned by the uncharacteristic play of the first two innings, Covington gradually battled its way out of its mental funk and played fairly well over the remaining five innings against Ben Logan. Covington scored two runs in the third and two more in the seventh, while giving up a run in the fourth for a 4-1 advantage over the final five innings.
But it wasn’t enough to overcome the most horrid start to a game a Lady Bucc softball team has had in years as Ben Logan cruised to a 10-4 win.
In all, Covington committed a terrible 7 errors in the game and was outfit 12-7 thanks to the seven extra outs the Lady Buccs gave Ben Logan.
THE REAL Covington team showed up in the second game of the afternoon against Vandalia-Butler, who had just fallen short by one run in extra innings to Newton in its opening contest.
“I told the girls to forget the first game and refocused for the second game and I think the girls did that,” said Heitkamp. “I was proud of how they were able to play the way they did in the second game after playing so poorly in the first game.”
The game was tight through the fourth inning as Vandalia-Butler opened up the scoring with a home run by Morgan Wright in the second and Covington responded with a run in the third.
But in the fifth inning the Lady Buccs took over the game by plating eight runs on a sequence of hits from batting through the entire lineup.
Looking for a run rule, Covington scored a run again in the top of the sixth, but Vandalia – who had a very classy group of girls and coaches – plated a run in the bottom of the sixth on yet another home run by Morgan Wright.
Fortunately Covington was on top of its game as it plated three more runs in the top of the seventh to put the contest away by the score of 13-2.
Junior hurler Emma Dammeyer went the distance in the circle for Covington in recording the impressive win over a very good team.
“Emma threw very well in the second game and our defense played the way we are capable of,” Heitkamp said. “We hit the ball well and played with a lot of enthusiasm – much different than the first game.”
Ashley Cecil and Makenzie Long both connected on four hits, while Kara Schaffer had three hits.
But the player of the game – and of the day – was senior Justice Warner, who not only played great in all phases all afternoon, but handled a very uncomfortable situation with utmost class that reflects very highly on herself, her team, school and community. Those in attendance know full well of what she did and what a great individual Justice Warner is.
With that, the Lady Buccs’ record moves to 7-1 on the season after an afternoon where Buccaneer fans saw a very, very good Covington team after witnessing a very bad Covington team for two innings.