Softball Gets CIC Win Over Eastbrook

Posted on April 24, 2019 in Softball, Spring Sports

By CHUCK LANDIS – clandis@chronicle-tribune.com
CONVERSE — With all the attributes the Oak Hill softball has – athleticism, experience, speed – it seems hardly fair the Golden Eagles also boast outstanding pitching.

Bayli Toy came within three outs of pitching their third no-hitter and the offense struck for 11 hits Tuesday as the Eagles pecked away at cross-county rival Eastbrook for a 7-0 Central Indiana Conference victory.

Oak Hill moved to 8-2 and remains unbeaten in CIC play at 2-0. Eastbrook fell to 5-5, 0-1.

Korrine Perkins’ two-out single scored Abby Shaw to give Oak Hill a 1-0 lead in the first inning and Toy did the rest, keeping the Eastbrook bats silent until Helaina Walters’ solid single to right field opening the seventh. Toy also surrendered an infield single to Emily Coates in the seventh before retiring the final two Panthers batters.

“I was wanting it,” Toy said of the no-hitter. “Every team starts to time you and I knew (Eastbrook’s) time was coming. It would have been great to have it, but they just got me and that was a nice hit.

“But we had a bunch of hits that were stopped like (shortstop) Jenessa (Hasty’s) diving catch that was incredible, and Ashlyn (Transier) coming off the (first base) bag to get a ball. Our defense is outstanding this year and I’m loving it,” Toy added.

Toy is the Eagles’ No. 1 pitcher and has five wins in six decisions, but sophomore Julianne Gosnell has the two no-hitters against Southern Wells and Marion. The senior also pitched a two-hitter against Blackford.

“It’s been very good whether it’s been Bayli Toy or JuJu (Gosnell), and it needs to continue,” Oak Hill coach Ben Johnson said. “You know our conference this year and girls are going to put the bat on the ball. I’ve got two good pitchers and they’re going to keep me in games and that’s all I ask of them. The offense is good behind them, too.”

While Toy has been the Eagles’ best pitcher since her freshman year, she credits her focus with taking her performances to a higher level. Toy struck out six but gave up three walks and hit one batter, and she retired the Panthers in order in three innings.

“With (left-handed batters) I try to keep going inside on them,” she said. “And every time I walk someone I’m like ‘I put them on and they’re not scoring’. It’s like a mental game with me and I push myself through it and get through it.”

Johnson said Toy’s mental approach has carried over to the rest of the team.

“I’ve coached football, basketball and softball and she competes harder than anyone I’ve ever had, and that’s what separates her from the other good pitchers around here,” Johnson said. “Her stuff is good – it’s nasty movement – but the girl competes like crazy.”

The Eagles added two runs in the third with the bunt and its team speed. After Hasty drew a walk, Kaela Robey legged out a bunt to collect a hit, and then Perkins laid down a sacrifice bunt, with Hasty scoring from second base on the play. Robey followed by scoring on a passed ball.

“Oak Hill put so much pressure on us, offensively, bunting with two strikes and things you don’t think normally think might happen,” Eastbrook coach Harold Coates said. “They got (the bunts) down and they hustled and they did a great job. They have great team speed and they made some plays.”

An error in the fifth when the Eastbrook rightfielder dropped Toy’s sinking flyball with two outs would lead two another Oak Hill run when Ella Ridgeway followed with a RBI single. The Eagles tacked on three runs in the seventh when Shaw and Robey each laid down bunts for singles and Transier brought in two baserunners with a single to right.

“We have played with a lot of confidence since the beginning of the season,” said Transier, who had two hits. “We’ve been playing good defense and our bats are on it, too. We put pressure on and keep it coming and try to score at least one run an inning.”

Shaw, Robey and Ridgeway each had two hits while Perkins collected two RBIs.

Eastbrook moved up its next game against Alexandria to 5 p.m. today. Oak Hill hosts another county rival, Mississinewa, at 5 p.m. Thursday.

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