Friday, May 31st, 2013
By Gary R. Rasberry
Flyers no-hit by Buccs' Yingst
Division IV Softball Regional at Tipp City
TIPP CITY - An outstanding pitching effort from Covington's Casey Yingst and a few defensive hiccups by Marion Local made it a tough day for the Flyers' softball team.
Covington scored six unearned runs combined in the third and fourth innings and Yingst twirled a no-hitter to lead the undefeated Lady Buccs to a 10-0 six-inning win over the Flyers in the Division IV regional semifinal action on Thursday at Tippecanoe Middle School in Tipp City.
The Buccs (29-0) will look for a third straight trip to state on Saturday when they face Triad in the regional final.
Marion Local, making its first regional appearance since 2004, ends the season with a record of 14-15.
Despite the disappointment with the loss, Flyers coach Russ Puthoff was proud of his team, which started the season with a 2-7 record.
"We were just telling them to keep their heads up," said Puthoff. "With the start we had, to come back and be in this game, that was awesome on their part. They did a great job."
Defense came up big for the Flyers early in the game, especially from catcher Katie Elking. She fired a perfect throw to second base to retire Heidi Snipes trying to steal in the first inning, and in the second inning, caught courtesy-runner Erin Olson napping off second base on a pick off.
It was a scoreless game in the third inning when a Marion Local defensive miscue opened the door for a three-run inning for Covington. Flyers pitcher Allison Rosenbeck was looking to get out of a two-out jam with two runners on base when Connor Schaffer hit a ground ball to second base. The ball got past the defender and allowed the first two runs of the game to score. Brittany Flora then drove in Olson, running for Schaffer, for the third run before the Flyers got out of the inning.
More defensive trouble came for the Flyers in the fourth inning as Haley Adams reached base safely on a three-base error after a dropped fly ball. Cassidy Cain then reached first base safely when the Flyers' throw home to try and catch Adams was late. Heidi Cron then followed with a bunt single and an errant throw to first allowed Cain to reach third with Cron advancing to second. A bad throw to third on a pick-off attempt the allowed Cain to score. Puthoff then called Taylor Homan to relieve Rosenbeck on the mound and Jessie Shilt grounded out to score Cron and Covington grabbed a commanding 6-0 lead.
"That's the kind of team you can't have a hiccup against," said Puthoff. "All the credit goes to Covington for the way they hit the ball. ... They made us field it. We had one (ball) go between the legs to score a couple runsand that just springboarded into a couple of things."
The Buccs scored one more run in the fifth, then scored three more in the bottom of the sixth to trigger the run-rule.
"This game is interesting, where there's so many variables you don't know who the victor is going to be," said Covington coach Dean Denlinger. "A couple balls bounce our way, and eventually the second or third time through the order, we start hitting gaps and hit the ball hard."
Marion Local's offense was able to get some runners on base via the walk early on against Yingst, but the Cross County Conference Player of the Year never lost her composure. Yingst walked Elking and Heather Mescher with one out in the second inning before striking out the next two batters.
From that point forward, Yingst was in control, retiring the final 12 batters she faced, striking out five with the Buccs' defense playing errorless behind her.
"We had some opportunities early on, and her defense played behind her," said Puthoff. "Once she found her rhythm in about the fourth inning, we didn't have an answer for her."
"(Yingst) struggled with her location early in the game. Sometimes when you go to a different mound the footing is different," said Denlinger. "She fought through it and got stronger as the game went on."
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