By Ben Robinson
COVINGTON — It has been a season of adversity for a young Covington softball team – from the unpredictable weather to unfortunate injuries and illness to key players.
Yet, through it all the Lady Buccs have maintained a positive attitude and were rewarded on Wednesday with a convincing 14-2 win over Tri-Village in five innings.
“We had two key players out tonight in Emma (Dammeyer) with a hamstring injury and Kenzie (Long) with the flu,” said Covington coach Phil Smith. “The girls knew they had to play as a team today and give Makenna (Gostomsky) plenty of support.”
With Dammeyer and Long on the mend, Makenna Gostomsky overcame a sluggish start where she walked the bases loaded by allowing just two runs on two hits the rest of the way.
“The defense had her back tonight,” Smith said. “We committing only one error and fielding everything else that came our way. We had two freshmen start today in Bethany (Weldy) and Allie (Garman) and they stepped up in a big way.”
After getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning without any damage, Covington scored four runs in the bottom half of the inning and never looked back.
Two more runs followed in the second and eight runs followed in the third for a 14-0 lead.
Tri-Village scored a pair of runs in the fourth, but Gostomsky and the Lady Bucc defense behind her shut the door on the run-rule win in the fifth.
Leading the way offensively was Layklyn Kemp, who went 3-for-4 with a triple and four RBI. Noelle Gast was 2-for-2 and drove in two runs, while Sarah Hubbard went 2-for-3 with a double.
In their first career starts, freshmen Allie Garman and Bethany Weldy came up big at the plate as well. Garman was 2-for-2 with a triple dn drove in two runs, while Weldy had a two-run double.
It all resulted in a win that ended a frustrating three-game skid for Covington – all since losing Dammeyer to injury.
“I’m very proud of how the team supported each other today after the mayhem we left on the field Saturday night in Newton,” said Smith. “They worked hard in practice on both Monday and Tuesday proving they were nowhere near being done.”
It was the breakout game Covington needed after starting the season 6-1 and dropping three straight. The Lady Buccs improved to 7-4 overall and 5-2 in the CCC headed into Friday’s game with Arcanum