By Ben Robinson
UNION CITY — With the threat of a second straight game being cancelled due to weather, the Covington Lady Buccs were excited to play regardless of the poor footing on a rain soaked field at Mississinawa Valley on Tuesday.
And the excitement showed as Covington pounded the ball for 21 hits in a 22-2 run rule victory over the host Blackhawks in five innings.
After a scoreless first inning, the Lady Buccs plated 13 runs in the second and then eight more runs in the top of the fourth to take a 21-0 lead. The big hit came on a three-run home run by freshman Mackenzie Long, who finished with a team-high five RBIs on the night.
“I was a little nervous in the first inning that the girls weren’t focused – maybe overlooking them (Mississinawa Valley),” said Covington coach Mechelle Heitkamp. “But the girls were serious and it showed in the second inning.”
With the game well in hand Heitkamp used much of the fourth inning and the top of the fifth to work on the small game as each batter put down bunts. Still, Covington was able to plate another run in the top of the fifth.
And in the process, Heitkamp was doing everything she could to protect her players from hurting themselves on slippery bases and home plate.
“My biggest concern was one of our girls getting hurt,” she said. “That’s why I kept holding up runners at third. I didn’t want to take any chances of someone getting hurt.”
Mississinawa Valley was able to score a run – the first run surrendered by Covington this season – in the bottom of the fourth and then took advantage of the lone error committed by the Lady Buccs to score a run in the bottom of the fifth.
Lexie Long went three innings in the circle for Covington and picked up the win while allowing just one hit. Emma Dammeyer came in to close the show in the final two innings and surrendered just two hits and one earned run.
Sarah Hubbard connected on four hits for Covington, while Ashley Cecil and Justice Warner each connected on three hits.
The win improves Covington’s record to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the CCC as they travel to Centerville today for a makeup game.
“We’re looking forward to playing a team like Centerville,” said Heitkamp. “That’s a good team from the GWOC and they will let us know what we need to work on.”
Last year Centerville handed the Lady Buccs the first of their four losses on the season by the score of 7-0 thanks to a dominating pitching effort by Mollie Paulick.
“That pitcher they had last year was really good and their second is now their one – and she’s pretty good too,” Heitkamp said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge and I’m sure the girls are too.”