Class A No. 4 Lanesville’s bats came alive late and turned a competitive game into a blowout over Class 2A No. 8 Providence on Tuesday.
Lanesville’s star pitcher Emma Zeller took care of the rest.
“I’m very pleased,” former Floyd Central head football coach and first-year Lanesville softball coach Rusty Cecil said after the Eagles’ season-opening victory. “I’m very happy and very proud of them.”
“Lanesville did everything to win the game and we didn’t do anything,” Providence coach Sean Payne said.
Zeller allowed just four Pioneer hits and five baserunners in the victory. She struck out four and walked just one.
After being shut out for six innings by Perry Central on Monday — before scoring four times in the seventh and eighth to steal a victory — the Pioneers have been shut out in 13 of 15 innings this season.
“I’m not concerned. We just have to get our timing down,” Payne said. “We started off against a really good pitcher yesterday and an even better one today. The bottom line is we didn’t make good contact and that’s an issue we need to work on.”
“I thought she did a great job,” Cecil said of Zeller, who pitched the Eagles to a Class A sectional title with a 1-0 victory over New Washington and a regional championship by giving up just one run in two regional games a year ago. “She fought back when she was ahead in the count and our defense helped her. And, of course, late in the game our offense helped us.”
Lanesville scored all of its runs in the fourth and seventh innings. It took the lead for good with a three-run fourth off of Providence starter Sierra Collett.
Robyn Schoen led off with a single into right field, and Erica Daly broke the scoreless tie with an RBI triple into the left-field corner. After Daly scored on a wild pitch, Jessica Deweese drove home Annie Parsons for a 3-0 lead.
The Eagles tacked on four more in the seventh against reliever Riley Lovan after back-to-back singles by Schoen and Daly, a two-RBI double by Parsons and a Zeller RBI single. The Eagles finished with seven runs on seven hits despite missing a pair of starters with injuries.
“The thing is I think everybody contributed,” Cecil said. “Missing two starters, that makes me even more proud. Some girls got some experience and that will make us better down the road.”
Providence got leadoff singles in the fourth and sixth innings, but failed to plate either.
In the fourth, Jacquie Hornung opened with a single, went to second on a sacrifice bunt from Karly Baumann and stole third. However, Melinda Cochran popped up to first base and Charly Wolford grounded out to Zeller.
Marlee Karem opened the sixth with a single past first base. However, she remained on first base for the remainder of the inning.
Cecil praised his defense for keeping Providence at bay.
“Our bunt defense was good,” he said. “The teams that like to bunt, let them bunt. I’ll take the outs. Some teams are successful with the bunt, but I felt like today their bunt didn’t hurt us. We made the plays.”
“We were trying to get them over because every time we play Lanesville, it’s a situation where we have to try to get runners over,” Payne explained. “We just weren’t able to get our bunts down. We’ll work on it. We’ll get it fixed.”
The Pioneers’ next five games are on the road, starting with the Spring Bash at Louisville Southern on Thursday and Friday. They will return home Thursday, April 10 to face Borden before the Providence Invitational on Saturday, April 12.
LANESVILLE 7, PROVIDENCE 0
Lanesville 000 300 4—7 7 0
Providence 000 000 0—0 3 1
W — Emma Zeller (1-0). L — Sierra Collett (1-1). 2B — Annie Parsons (L). 3B — Erica Daly (L).
Records — Lanesville 1-0, Providence 0-1.