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Jeannette softball remains perfect in section play

| Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Jada Morgan arrives safely at first base.
Brianna Crawford spends some time in the batter's box.
Mary Katherine Paulone winds up for a pitch.

Any starting pitcher knows that the second time through a lineup is typically more difficult than the first.

Hitters make adjustments, all of a pitcher's pitches have been seen and timing is more precise.

The same philosophy holds true for a team cycling through their section schedule for the second time in a season. The Jeannette Lady Jayhawks were perfect their first trip through the Section 3-A schedule — just one more reason for teams to throw everything they have at the section leaders.

Jeannette's first test in the second half of the section schedule came at Riverview last Thursday and the Lady Jayhawks used a dominating opening two innings to build an 8-1 lead and then held on as Riverview chipped away but fell short as Jeannette moved to 7-0 in section play with an 8-5 win.

“It was kind of an unusual game for us,” said Jeannette head coach Zac Karas. “When we got that early lead I never thought we wouldn't score a run over the last five innings.”

Riverview pulled their starter and replaced her with sophomore Candice Ashbaugh who Jeannette lit up for 15 runs in the first game between the two in late March. Ashbaugh pitched to contact and her defense made plays to hold Jeannette down.

Senior Nicole Hall started for Jeannette and recorded the complete game win.

Riverview scored runs in the first, third, fourth and fifth innings to trim Jeannette's early 8-1 lead to 8-5 going into the bottom of the sixth. But, Hall pitched a perfect sixth and needed only six pitches in retiring Riverview in order in their last at-bats in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win for Jeannette.

“I was never more proud of Nicole than I was in that game,” said Karas. “She really did a great job of shutting them down and making sure we got the win.”

Jeannette is at section foe Springdale tonight and will host Vincentian and The Ellis School in section play next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Dave Moio is a freelance writer.

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