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Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Panthers win MAC opener over Flyers

By Mark Ruschau

Parkway's Zoey Pond, left, waits to put the tag on Marion Local's Mindy Puthoff. . .

ROCKFORD - On a night when she did not have her best stuff, Sierra Fent made enough pitches and her Parkway teammates scored enough runs to lead the Panthers to a 6-1 win over the Marion Local Flyers in the Midwest Athletic Conference softball opener for both teams at the Parkway Athletic Complex on Monday.
Fent allowed the Flyers 12 base runners in the game on six hits, four walks and two reaching on errors. Of the 12 base runners, only one came around to score. Fent helped herself out by striking out nine batters along the way.
Marion Local (2-6, 0-1 MAC) went one for eight with runners in scoring position, leaving eight runners in scoring position.
The Flyers loaded the bases with one out in the fourth on an error and a pair of singles. Fent induced a ground ball with Fent pitching the ball to catcher Zoey Pond for the second. Fent than struck out Allison Rosenbeck swinging to end the threat.
In the sixth, Marion had Flyers on all the bases again, this time with nobody out thanks to an infield hit and a pair of walks. Fent bowed her back, striking out Taylor Homan and Jessie Wynk before getting Heather Mescher to fly out to center for the third out.
The Flyers had one last threat as Brianna Bragg walked and Mindy Puthoff singled with one out. Fent got Megan Wendel to bounce to the mound for the second out and then struck out Kristi Moorman to end the game.
"We did not get the big hit when we needed it tonight," said Marion Local coach Russ Puthoff. "All the credit tonight goes to Sierra. She made the pitches that she had to make in big spots and her defense made the plays behind her."
"Marion was really patient at the plate. They did hit the ball very hard. They had a threat going and (Fent) made the pitches when she needed to," said Parkway coach Mark Esselstein. "She showed maturity tonight, dealing with the strike zone, and in the seventh inning she shook me (declining a pitch selection) a couple times and still made the pitch that she needed to make."
Parkway (5-3, 1-0 MAC) provided all the offense Fent needed by scoring three runs over the first three innings. In the second, Fent led off with a single and then went to third when Lindsey Walls' ground ball to the pitcher was thrown away at second, allowing Fent to take third. Olivia Smith produced the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly. Terra Walls followed with a laser-shot double off the fence in right-center field to bring in the second run.
In the third, Kylie Snyder singled and scored on a double to right-center by Fent.
Parkway hosts Lincolnview tonight before returning to conference play on Thursday at New Bremen. Marion Local returns to play this evening as they play host to county rival Coldwater in a non-conference affair before hosting Fort Recovery in MAC play on Thursday.
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