Coal City hits 20-win plateau by beating North
April 29, 2010Coal City High School
By Mike Cunniff
|The Coal City softball team improved to 20-0 on the season with a non-conference win over Plainfield North. (Herald Photo by Mike Cunniff)|
PLAINFIELD - All batters endure slumps in softball and baseball.
There is no such thing as a good slump.
Coal City sophomore Molly Manietta had been going through a bad slump ... or worse.
But Manietta had a perfect afternoon Wednesday, lashing out a double and pair of singles besides picking up a walk to help key the Lady Coalers offense in a 6-0 blanking of the Plainfield North Tigers in non-conference softball.
"I have been coming out of a bad, bad slump," Manietta said afterward. "The pitcher we faced today was a little slower than what we have been seeing and I was able to keep my hands back."
Manietta, who came into the game with 13 hits (including a double, triple and trio of home runs) in 44 official trips to the plate for a .295 average, helped set up the opening run of the game in the top of the fourth inning when she doubled to left following a 1-out single through the hole by Lauren McGlasson.
Rachel Burroughs followed with a sacrifice fly to left-center on which North center fielder Katie Kramer made the catch. McGlasson scurried across the plate before Tigers shortstop Carrlyn Anderson cut the ball off and fired to third baseman Teisha Russo for the tag on Manietta.
After solving losing pitcher Aleca Gaucia for just 4 hits through the initial 4 frames, Coal City bunched 5 hits for another trio of runs in the fifth. No. 8 hitter Madison Giordano led off by reaching on an error. Giordano moved up on a passed ball and a wild pitch before Bryanna Phelan singled to center for an RBI.
Phelan was called out for leaving the base too early on a pitch for the second out before winning pitcher Kirsten Verdun legged out a topped ball down the first base line. Krista Watson chased in Verdun with a double off the glove of Russo. Kristen Arndt plated Watson with a bounder over the head of Russo.
The Lady Coalers, now 20-0, bulked their lead to 6-0 with a couple of runs in the sixth after 2 were out. Phelan singled up the middle before Verdun had her single of the afternoon. Both runners moved up on the throw to third that was late, setting them in position for a 2-run double by Watson into right-center. The trio of RBI on the day upped Watson's season total to 47.
Verdun gave up 3 hits, a 1-out single by Kelly Kennedy through the hole in the second frame, a bloop single by Gaucia leading off the third and another bloop into short left by Russo leading off the fourth.
But Verdun escaped damage by racking up 16 strikeouts, including the side in both the first and second innings. She then added 2 more K's in each frame thereafter to boost her season total to 238 in 114 innings.
"Their pitcher kept us off balance early until we made some corrections," Coalers coach Brad Schmitt said. "We also got some key 2-out hits and any time you get those, it is a plus for us and a let down for the other team."
Coal City, which has now won at least 20 games for five seasons in succession, wound up with 14 hits. Manietta and Verdun ended with 3 each while Phelan, Watson and McGlasson had 2 apiece.
"Everyone goes through a slump at some point in the season," Schmitt said, of Manietta's travails. "But we have tried to stay with her and have told her not to let it affect her confidence. It was good to see her get some hits today."