EATON TWP. — Columbia had the bases loaded and the momentum in the top of the seventh Saturday against Midview.
But was Middies coach Mike Ives worried? Nope, he figured he had something, too: Lexie Hamker in the circle.
Hamker justified her coach’s faith in her when she got Blaze Pratt to ground out to second to end the game and preserve a 5-4 non-conference win for the Middies.
“It was all about Lexie,” Ives said. “I had confidence in her. Even those hits they got were dinks and dunks, nothing solid. There were no hard smashes or line drives rocketing off her pitches.
“Lexie has been working hard on a riseball and you could see some of the results today. It was really jumping out. It was really important today that she had it working for her.”
The win gave the Middies (12-7) a split in their three-team round robin. Medina beat the Middies in the opener, then beat Columbia (16-4) in the middle game.
In the day’s finale, both teams put runs on the board in the first inning and the game stayed tied at 1 until the third when the Middies scored twice off Amanda Sedlock, who came in when starter Christine Lyzen left due to a twinge in her pitching arm.
“She caught in the previous game against Medina and then came back to pitch in this one,” Raiders coach Ken Lugo said of Lyzen. “I think she was a little tired so I didn’t want to take a chance on her really hurting her arm.”
The Middies manufactured both runs in the third — with a little help from the Raiders — making a fielder’s choice, a walk, two passed balls and a bunt single pay off.
Columbia added a run in the top of the fifth to cut the lead to 3-2. Emma Sullivan walked and Nicolette Kunath and Emily Viccarone came through with back-to-back singles.
With runners on second and third and only one out, Sedlock hit a line drive right at Midview third baseman Trish Koleski, who turned it into an unassisted double play when Kunath was caught too far off the bag.
Midview added two runs in the bottom of the fifth on three hits to center wrapped around two infield outs.
Columbia, which outhit the Middies 14-8, made its final push in the top of the seventh, scoring twice on two hits and a pair of sacrifice flies.
But Hamker shut down the Raiders’ rally.
“I knew I had a great defense behind me and I was hoping that they would get anything that was hit,” Hamker said.
“My change-up was working well, but they started hitting them so I went with the curveball. They were fouling them off, but if they hit them they were getting little dinkers out of them. Other than that, everything was good.”
Ives said his Middies got what it needed out of the three-team event.
“We knew coming in that the other two teams were good, quality teams,” he said. “We were hoping to play some good, quality teams before the tournament. It was a good day, a fun day. It was just good all around. All three teams played well. An inning here or there changes a lot of results.”
No doubt the Raiders agree.
Contact Ron Nenadal at 329-7135
Midview 5, Columbia 4
ab r h bi ab r h bi
Marshall 4 0 0 0 Haight 3 2 1 0
Fetchet 4 1 2 0 DiFranco 2 0 0 0
Sullivan 3 3 2 0 Thomas 2 2 2 1
Kunath 3 0 2 1 Beursken 2 1 0 0
Viccarone 3 0 2 3 Hamker 3 0 2 2
Lyzen 3 0 1 0 Koleski 4 0 0 0
Sedlock 4 0 2 0 Clapper 3 0 0 0
Goode 4 0 2 0 Wade 3 0 1 0
Pratt 4 0 1 0 Lantsberry 3 0 2 0
Friedel 2 0 0 0
Totals 34 4 14 4 Totals 25 5 8 3
Columbia 100 010 2 — 4 14 3
Midview 011 200 X — 5 8 1
2B—Viccarone, Beursken. SB—Fetchet, Thomas, Hamker. SAC—Hamker. SF—Kunath, Viccarone. LOB—Columbia 11, Midview 6.
IP H R ER BB SO
Lyzek 2 3 1 1 1 1
Sedlock (L) 4 5 4 2 1 3
Hamker (W, 12-7) 7 14 4 4 2 4
WP—Lyzen. HBP—DiFranco (by Sedlock). PB—Viccarone 2