By Mark Ruschau
NEW BREMEN -- The New Bremen Cardinals softball team used solid defense, great pitching and timely hitting to defeat the Covington Buccs, 3-0, in a non-league game at the Cardinal softball diamond.
The win, its third in a row, moves New Bremen to 4-3 on the season.
"We preach throwing strikes and playing strong defense and not giving the other team extra at-bats," said New Bremen coach Craig Griesdorn. "We played pretty solid defense and made the plays when we had to make them. The key tonight was that we made the plays we had to defensively."
Senior right-hander Julie Griesdorn fired a gem on the hill as she hurled a three-hit shutout. Griesdorn had great control as she struck out nine and did not walk a batter.
Griesdorn's defense was solid behind her as well, not committing an error while also coming up with big defensive plays to get out of or prevent some serious jams. Erika Bell started the great defensive play as she made two diving catches in centerfield in the opening inning.
In the second inning, Erin Christian led off for Covington with a base hit and went to second on a fielder's choice. New Bremen then came up with a big play as Covington's Amanda Furrow hit a bouncer to Fort Recovery's Morgan Cox at shortstop who made the routine play to first baseman Maria Staton, who in turn fired the ball to third baseman Audrey Michael who put the tag on the running Furrow for the third out.
Griesdorn and the New Bremen defense saved their best effort for the Covington fifth. Furrow led off with a double and Michelle Barhorst singled with Furrow advancing to third. After Barhorst stole second, Griesdorn got out of the jam by striking out Alison Christian and Kylie Lavey and inducing Jamie Grilliot to bounce out to end the inning.
New Bremen took advantage of two scoring chances to score the only three runs they needed. In the third, Bell walked to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice by Lindsey Bailey. Jennifer Dick then singled with Bell taking third. After Griesdorn popped up for the second out, Cox came up with the big hit to center, driving in the first two runs of the game.
Cox was in the center of New Bremen scoring their final run in the sixth. Cox led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on a bounce out by Elly Cisco and scored on a bounce out by Kelly Steineman.
"We came up with two-out hits and that was huge," said Griesdorn. "We picked each other up and that's what we preach -- team play.
"We struggled early this year with our bunting and we worked on it and it paid off today," added Griesdorn. "We did a good job of hitting the ball to the right side, doing the little things to get things done offensively."
New Bremen is back in action on Friday, hosting Botkins.