By Jeremy McDonald
HARRISBURG, Ore.– The Dayton Softball team seemingly did all they did to stay within striking distance of Harrisburg on the road Thursday afternoon. They minimized the walks and errors and had timely hits when they needed to as they defeated the Eagles 10-6 as Spring Break was drawing to a close.
Defensively, they turned two double plays in the win. Both times with runners screaming home to close out the second and fifth innings in a contest that saw both teams trading the lead throughout. It was that defense that allowed Dayton freshman pitcher Rachel Baumholtz to work comfortably in the circle.
“It helps because I know that they’re right there to back me up if they hit a ground ball or whatever. So I just keep pitching and keep throwing strikes,” Baumholtz said. “It was a big step for us because we’ve been struggling a little bit mentally and it was really good to see everyone come together as a team and have that big mental step to win the game.”
Dayton jumped out to a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the third inning, only to see Harrisburg score three going into the fourth to take a 3-2 lead. The score held until the squads traded a two-run inning in the sixth-inning, taking a 5-4 lead into the top half of the seventh inning. But that was when Dayton were able to string a few opportunities together offensively, resulting in six runs to be scored in the process thanks to five hits and some patience at the plate as they drew four walks as well.
“We had good hits throughout the game, they weren’t finding the gaps or holes and then we lit it up in the seventh inning, it really helped us.”` Lillie Brooks said..”If tomorrow we can stay in the same mentality, we’ll beat Sisters.”
Brooks, Anna Baumholrz and Rylie Hedgecock each collected two hits with Hedgecock and Kyra Navari each driving in 2RBI’s apiece.
Harrisburg attempted a comeback though in the seventh inning. An error got a baserunner on in between the first two outs of the inning. A single and an RBI double by Aaliya Gabproault got the Eagles on the board. A walk followed to load the bases before Rachel Baumholtz closed out the game with a strikeout, one of seven that she had in the win Wednesday as the Pirates head home to host the Outlaws at 4:30pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald