STERLING – Hot hitting propelled the Newman Comets to a Saturday doubleheader sweep of the Dixon Duchesses.
The Comets won the first game 12-9, then a depleted Duchesses squad fell victim to an even hotter Newman attack in a 12-2, five-inning nightcap.
The scoring came in bunches in the opener, as the team combined for four three-run innings. Three of those four belonged the Comets (3-4), in consecutive innings from the second through the fourth.
Dixon’s also came in the fourth, and the Duchesses tacked on two-run frames in the sixth and seventh.
“I thought overall, up and down the lineup, that was the best that we have hit the ball consistently all year,” said Newman coach J.D. Waldschmidt. “There wasn’t one particular girl that stood out; I thought everybody hit the ball. “
Going into the seventh, the Duchesses trailed 12-7. With runners on first and second, a potential comeback was brewing.
Emily Bay was at-bat, and had two strikes against her. She swung at a pitch that was mishandled, and hustled to first to safely reach base on the dropped third strik.
Next to the plate was Sabrina Brimm. She hit a foul ball that was snagged by left fielder Rachel Grennan, whose momentum then forced her out of play. This allowed two Dixon runners to tag up and score, giving the Duchesses hope. However, Newman pitcher Sam Miller retired the next two batters to pick up the win.
“We’re down on pitching,” said Dixon coach Chris Jones. “I was hoping that we would be able to come out and catch them in game 1, but emotions came out and carried over into the second game.
“We’ll get it back together; this happens to every team from time to time. I just wasn’t expecting it today. We can play with the best of them, but at the same time, we could play with the worst of them.”
In the second game, the Comets picked up right where they left off. They amassed 10 hits in the first three innings; three belonged to senior Mary Alice Oswalt, who hit three triples, scored three runs, and drove in two runs.
“We have been used to seeing a lot of great, fast pitchers, and we’re starting to make adjustments to get used to some of the ptichers we have seen,” explained Oswalt. “I think we really improved with the adjustments we did make, like scooting up in the box, or driving every pitch. It gave us momentum, and we carried it out.”
Lakyn Waldschmidt picked up the win in the nightcap, but a scary moment unfolded when her counterpart in the circle, Alli Jacobson, took a line drive to the chest in the second inning. Teammate Jessica VanOosten took her place, making her second appearance of the day. Fortunately, Jacobson returned in the fourth inning and retired the side in order.
“Not starting the inning is different from coming in in the middle of one,” said VanOosten. “We have had a couple rough games with people getting hurt lately, especially pitchers. We just have to keep going, and put it in the past and get better.”
“We were all scared for her,” added Oswalt. “We didn’t know what to do from the dugout.”
Newman def. Dixon 12-9, 12-2
Star of the day: Mary Alice Oswalt, Newman, 3 3Bs, 3 runs, 2 RBIs in nightcap
Up next: Riverdale at Newman, 4:30 p.m. Monday; Ottawa at Dixon, 4:30 p.m. Thursday