W. Curt Vincent Editor
April 1, 2014
ELIZABETHTOWN — Miller Heustess scattered four hits early, then survived a four-hit inning late to pitch East Bladen past Wallace-Rose Hill on Tuesday, 3-0.
The win improved the Lady Eagles to 5-3 overall and 3-3 in the Four County Conference.
After a scoreless first — which started 45 minutes late because of tardy umpires — the Lady Bulldogs threatened in the second with a pair of two-out singles, but Heustess pitched out of the jam.
In the bottom of the inning, Anna Brewer bunted and reached on an error ahead of a slicing triple down the right-field line by Heustess that chased Brewer home with the game’s first run. Emily Scott followed with a grounder that Wallace-Rose Hill booted, allowing Heustess to score and Scott to reach base. A passed ball sent Scott to second, but the threat ended there with three quick outs.
In the top of the third, Heustess was nicked for a leadoff double by the Lady Bulldogs. A comebacker produced one out, but sent the runner to third — until one pitch later, when shortstop Abby Ward snared a line drive and fired a bullet to third to double-up the runner and end the threat.
East Bladen started an uprising in the home half of the fourth when Brewer walked and, with one out, went to second on a single by Scott. But in trying to stretch it to third, Brewer was thrown out on a close play. Yolanda Coston followed with what would have been an RBI single, but instead put runners at first and second — which is where the momentum fizzled.
But in the fifth, the Lady Eagles pushed across an insurance run when Lacey Suggs led off with a walk and promptly stole second base. A groundout to short allowed Suggs to scamper to third and, when the throw from first went into left field, she raced home easily for the third run of the game.
East Bladen continued to threaten in the fifth, loading the bases on a walk to Lexi Dawson, a fielder’s choice by Abbey Norris, a single by Brewer and two-out walk to Heustess — but nothing materialized.
Wallace-Rose Hill put together a serious threat in the top of the sixth. With one out, a batter smashed a drive to the fence in right-center that was tracked down by Suggs, who pegged a perfect throw to Ward at second base that caught the runner trying for double. That turned out to be a huge play when the next three hitters all singled and loaded the bases.
But Heustess preserved the shutout by getting a ground ball to third that Norris made a nice scoop on for the out.
The Lady Eagles made one last attempt at a run in the bottom of the sixth when Coston was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and, after an out, Suggs dropped a bunt single. An infield fly produced the second out, but Coston rambled to third when the shortstop dropped the running catch. Suggs quickly stole second, but neither could score before the third out.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Lady Bulldogs put one runner on thanks to an East Bladen error, but otherwise went down meekly.
“It’s been a long time, for some reason, since we’ve been able to beat a good team,” said East Bladen coach Patty Evers. “This should give them a lot of confidence going forward.
“Miller pitched well and we got some good defense,” she added. “I’m real proud of them.”
Heustess improved her record to 4-3 overall and 3-3 in the conference after twirling a complete game and giving up eight hits, two walks and striking out two.
At the plate, Heustess was 1-for-3 with the triple and RBI, while Scott was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Suggs, Dawson, Brewer and Coston each had a single.