By Garth Shanklin
The Amelia Lady Barons are off to a solid 3-0 start to the season thanks to a potent offense and excellent pitching in the circle from junior Nicole Brown.
Brown started two games in the circle last week for Amelia, shutting out New Richmond in a 10-0 Amelia victory on Wednesday, March 29 in her first start of the week. One day later, Brown dominated Norwood in an 11-1 Amelia win.
Brown tossed all five innings in the win, and she got a lot of help from her defense to do so. Of the 15 batters retired by the junior, only two were via strikeout. Brown induced 10 groundouts in the contest.
Norwood got a two-out single in the first inning by senior Emily Voll, but she was left stranded at first base.
Amelia struck for a run in the bottom of the frame. Maddie Beasley, Raelyn Jobe and Brown each singled to start the inning. Beckett hit into a fielder’s choice, which retired Jobe at second. Beasley scored for Amelia’s first run.
The Lady Indians did not hit a ball past Brown in the top of the second. Three of the five batters in the inning grounded out to the pitcher, with the remaining to reaching base after being hit with a pitch. Amelia added four runs in their half of the inning to take a 5-0 lead.
Kinsey Ventura drew a one-out walk for Amelia in the bottom of the third. She eventually came around to score the Lady Barons’ sixth run of the game.
Norwood scored their only run of the game in the top of the fourth. Amelia answered, emphatically. Bre Tonkin started the inning with a walk, but she was caught stealing for the first out. Samantha Reese then drew a walk, Kasey Broughton doubled, and Anna Pangallo singled. Ventura then promptly cleared the bases with a triple, putting Amelia ahead 9-1. Beasley’s single scored Ventura for the Lady Barons’ 10th run.
In the bottom of the fifth, Amelia’s Jordyn McPhillips reached on a fielder’s choice. One out later, Broughton singled, and Pangallo ended the game with an RBI single into left field to score McPhillips.
Beasley finished the game 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBI. Pangallo also collected three hits in four at-bats and a pair of runs batted in. Jobe and Brown each tallied three hits for Amelia.
Head coach Kelly Throckmorton said the team has gotten younger in 2017, and the younger players are improving.
“We’re younger, we’re rebuilding,” Throckmorton said. “We graduated seven seniors last year who started. The kids are starting to hit a bit better. They’re working hard.”
Throckmorton also said Brown’s performance in the circle wasn’t as good as her start against New Richmond, but fatigue could have been a factor.
“She pitched really well yesterday,” Throckmorton said. “She didn’t pitch bad today, I think she was a little tired. She got the job done, she used her defense.”
Offensively, Throckmorton said the entire team was able to contribute to the win.
“We had a couple triples, a couple doubles,” Throckmorton said. “It was a team effort, all the girls hit through the lineup. All of them are doing their job, moving them one base at a time. They’re doing well.”
Rain interrupted Amelia’s offensive onslaught on Friday, March 31, as the team’s scheduled game with Goshen was postponed. The Lady Barons returned to action against Batavia on Monday, April 3 and were leading the Lady Bulldogs 16-4 when rain stopped the contest in the fourth inning.