NEW ALBANY —
"Mentally, we didn't play a great game today," Belden said. "Physically, we played a good game, but this was the first bad game we've played mentally. Maybe its because it was our fifth game in four days. Luckily, we were able to overcome some of those mental mistakes."
Atkins didn't wait long to strike again, delivering a double in the second inning that nearly left the park ended up near the fence in centerfield. That scored Hannah Veit and Fath, who had back-to-back singles with two out.
Two innings later, the sequence repeated itself.
Again with two out, Veit and Fath singled to bring up Atkins, who smacked a hot shot between the shortstop and third base to score two runs and give New Albany a 6-2 lead. That would be enough of a cushion for Morton, who completed the contest with 11 strikeouts.
That didn't mean it would be easy.
Silver Creek nearly claimed the lead in the sixth inning when it got an RBI single from Bush and putting runners on second and third with the tying run at the plate and one out after a key throwing error on New Albany. Morton struck out Gabby Jones to get the second out, but pinch hitter Vanessa Parrish scored a second Dragon run with an RBI single to make it 6-4 and keep the bases loaded. Morton managed to get Bailee Miller to foul out and end the threat.
The Dragons did manage a baserunner in their final at-bat on a call of catcher interference, but could never make a sustained push at tying the score.
"All day long we played really well," said Silver Creek coach Dave Harvey. "We're still trying to find our identity and still moving people around to fill some holes. Hopefully, this will be a learning experience and we can take the positive and keep growing."