E. Gearhart homers, pitches CG in win over Rochester
A. Gearhart, Sheets also homer for Winamac; Coleman, Haughs go deep for RHS
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
WINAMAC –- Ella Gearhart pitched a complete-game five-hitter and also hit a two-run homer to lead the Winamac softball team to an 8-3 win over Rochester at Winamac Town Park Tuesday.
Aubrey Gearhart and Alexis Sheets also homered for Winamac as part of an 11-hit attack.
Aubrey Gearhart’s line drive solo shot off Rochester starter Mya Musselman just cleared the right field fence and put Winamac ahead for good at 3-2 in the third.
Sydney Haughs relieved Musselman after the Aubrey Gearhart homer and walked Sheets and gave up Ella Gearhart’s two-run homer just to the left of straightaway center to make it 5-2.
Smith’s RBI single capped the four-run inning and made it 6-2.
Sheets’ solo homer to right center made it 7-2 in the fourth, and Hinz had an RBI single in the fifth made it 8-2.
Aubrey Gearhart, Sheets and Catie Perry had two hits each, and Ella Gearhart had two RBIs.
Aubrey Gearhart, Sheets, Perry, McKenzie Hinz and Maggie Smith had one RBI each.
“I thought we adjusted pretty well tonight,” Winamac coach Jennifer Belcher said. “In our last few ballgames, our pitchers have been ones where we’ve had to make adjustments to. We played a couple games ago against some pitchers who went with speed a lot. Last night, we traveled over to Rensselaer, and they didn’t have as much speed, so we have really had to make some adjustments with speed of the bat. And we have some young kids in our order, so that takes some time, and they’re learning, so I’m happy to see that.”
Said Rochester coach Becky Lee of Winamac: “They are a very big threat. They do a great job of squaring balls up and being good at pitch selection. So they are going to be a very good offensive team and defensive team for that matter.”
Kylie Coleman hit a two-run homer in the third, and Haughs hit a no-doubt solo shot in the sixth for the Lady Zs.
Maddie Heinzmann went 2 for 3 and was the only Rochester player with a multi-hit game. The sophomore center fielder also threw out Samantha Perry trying to advance from first to third on a single in the third and made a running, lunging catch in deep left-center to rob Ella Gearhart of extra bases in the sixth.
“I think every day we learn something new, whether it’s our pitching or our offense or our defense,” Lee said. “I think we’re continuing to learn, and I’ve always said you grow a lot more from a loss than you do a win sometimes, and I think that there’s a lot for us to learn here, and we’re developing every single day, and I see a lot of strengths in our team.”
Emma Howdeshell also singled and walked.
“I think we did a really good job of squaring balls up,” Lee said. “We just didn’t find those holes today. We hit a lot of balls at people.”
Ella Gearhart said she throws seven different pitches, and she said her change-up was her “number one” in this particular game. She also praised catcher Emma Goodman for providing a “good frame” and taking the borderline pitch and making them look like strikes.
“I just went around the zone and tried to hit corners,” Ella Gearhart said. “I throw seven pitches. Some are obviously better than others. I like to throw my change-up. I like when it works for me. I threw a lot of off-speed, a lot of curve balls.”
Said Belcher: “I don’t think the home run bothered her. Ella’s just very confident in what she does.”
Sheets runs cross-country in the fall and balances softball with track in the spring. She said she has been playing softball since she was “6 or 7.” She said she loved it from the beginning, and she said she wants to play college softball.
She said she didn’t put a full swing on her homer.
“It was kind of down the middle, but as I swung, I knew it was going to go far, but I check-swinged it,” Sheets said. “It hit the barrel just right.”
Class 2A, No. 20 Winamac improved to 4-2 in advance of their game at Tippecanoe Valley at 5 p.m. Thursday. Rochester, who left eight on base, fell to 2-1.
Winamac 8, Rochester 3
Rochester 002 001 0 – 3 5 2
Winamac 204 110 X – 8 11 2
WP – Ella Gearhart (7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 6 K)
LP – Mya Musselman (2+ IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K)
2B – Samantha Perry (WIN)
HR – Kylie Coleman (RHS), Sydney Haughs (RHS), Aubrey Gearhart (WIN), Ella Gearhart (WIN), Alexis Sheets (WIN)
Aubrey Gearhart Ella Gearhart
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