Parkway gets 6-0 shutout of Lady Lancers
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:05 AM
By Kevin Wannemacher
Lincolnview’s Mikenna Klinger dives back to first base as Parkway’s Sierra Fent awaits the throw. The Panthers topped Lincolnview by a 6-0 score on Tuesday. (Times Bulletin/Pat Agler)
Times Bulletin Business Manager
MIDDLE POINT — Parkway scored three times in the first and cruised from there to a 6-0 victory over host Lincolnview in non-league softball action on a cold and windy Tuesday night.
The Lady Panthers quickly got in front and that was one of the goals, according to Panther head coach Mark Esselstein.
“We felt that runs would be hard to come by with the wind blowing the way it is tonight,” noted the Panther head coach. “It was big to get in front early on for us.”
With one out, Alyx Slusher walked before Kayle Heckler singled to put runners on first and second. Sierra Fent then followed with a double to left field that scored both Heckler and Slusher for a 2-0 advantage.
“We were able to put a few hits together there in the first,” Esselstein continued.
After Lancer hurler Ashley McClure struck out Ashlynn Henderson for the second out, a single from Terra Walls scored Fent for a 3-0 Panther lead.
Parkway then widened the margin in the third.
Slusher started the top of the third by reaching on a Lancer error and moved to second on a passed ball. Heckler followed with a bunt that McClure fielded but the throw was wild, allowing Slusher to score. A run-scoring single by Henderson then plated Heckler as the Panthers posted a 5-0 lead.
“Parkway is a good softball team, and they have the potential to make a run in the tournament,” stated Lincolnview head coach Kent McClure. “We weren’t able to generate much offensively, and we made some mistakes in the field that hurt us tonight.”
The Lancers put together their best threat in the bottom of the fourth.
Devann Springer reached via a one-out walk and Baylee Neate followed with an infield single to put runners on first and second. However, Heckler buckled down and got Macala Ashbaugh into a force out of Springer before striking out Julia Thatcher to end the inning.
Parkway then rounded out the scoring in the fifth.
With Ashbaugh taking over on the mound, Slusher was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on an illegal pitch. Heckler then moved Slusher to third on a sacrifice bunt before the Panther freshman was awarded home due to an illegal pitch, making it 6-0 Panthers.
From there, the Lancer freshman hurler settled down and retired eight of the next ten Panther batters on the night.
“I thought our pitching was fine tonight,” McClure continued. “Ashley has thrown a lot of innings, but I thought she threw the ball well tonight. Macala is a freshman, but she has done a good job for us as well, allowing us to mix it up a little bit.”
Ashley McClure suffered the loss for the Lancers, giving up four hits and three earned runs while striking out four and walking one in four innings of work. In relief, Ashbaugh scattered two hits and a walk while fanning four in three innings.
Lincolnview did put two runners on again in the sixth.
Parkway second baseman Whitney Rollins fielded consecutive ground balls from Macey Ashbaugh and Proctor for the first two outs before a double by Springer and a walk to Neate put runners on first and second. However, Heckler closed the frame as Macala Ashbaugh grounded out to Rollins for the third out.
Rollins finished the night with four putouts and five assists, including three hard hit balls by Proctor.
“Whitney did a nice job for us tonight,” Esselstein added. “She is a new starter for us and she really stepped up and made some big plays for us.”
Heckler recorded the victory, scattering two hits in the contest while allowing four walks. Heckler also struck out four Lancer hitters.
“Kayle threw the ball very well and just did another good job of making them hit the ball,” said Esselstein. “Defensively, we were able to make plays behind her and that is something we haven’t done all year but we did a nice job of that tonight.”
Heckler had a pair of singles and Fent added a double for the Lady Panthers. Henderson, Serina Slano and Terra Walls each added a single. Slusher scored three times for the Lady Panthers, reaching base in all three plate appearances without getting a hit. The Panther freshman reached via an error, walked and was hit by a pitch.