Softball: Marengo shuts down Burlington Central
Updated: April 10, 2012 8:42PM
Marengo pitcher Lindsay Melson made the opportunity for advancement almost non-existent Tuesday for Burlington Central.
The Rockets needed to get runners on base and move them into scoring position to be successful against the defending Class 3A state champions, but they could only reach base after two were out all game long, and they came away with a 2-1 defeat in both teams’ Big Northern East opener.
“When she gets ahead of the count, she comes at you high,” Central third baseman Haley Albamonte said about Melson. “She has a great rise ball and today it was working and it got a lot of us.”
Host Central (10-6, 0-1) had baserunners in five innings and each time they already had two outs when the rally started. They got a timely Lauren King RBI double to the fence in the second, scoring losing pitcher Angie Morrow after she had reached on an error. But in the first, fourth, fifth and sixth innings Melson got the next batter for the last out.
In four of the five instances that Central got runners on with two outs, Melson got the last out via strikeout.
“I’ve been watching the scores and they score a lot of runs,” Marengo coach Dwain Nance said of Central. “And to hold them to one run, that’s tough.
“Lyndsay threw really well. She was hitting her spots — except for hitting one batter — really well.”
Melson (8-3) struck out 15 and allowed four hits without walking a Rocket.
“There’s no excuses,” Central coach Cray Allen said. “We knew what she was going to do, we had worked on it. The kids knew mentally what the deal was and we still didn’t take care of business — the high fastball.
“That’s all on us. We didn’t get surprised.”
Marengo (11-3, 1-0) scored its only runs against Morrow (5-3) in the first inning. Slap-hitting, fleet leadoff batter Reed Karsten, who went 3-for-3, singled, moved up on an infield out and came around from second on a single by Larissa Pfeiffer.
Pfeiffer moved up on the play at the plate and went to third on a tapper in front of the plate. Then she scored the decisive second run on a wild pitch.
After that, Morrow allowed only four more hits. She struck out six and benefited from some slick fielding at third by Albamonte, as well as a double play in the fourth after allowing the leadoff batter on base.
“Morrow pitched an unbelievable game,” Allen said. “We’ll expect the same thing Thursday from Brooke Gaylord.”
The teams, the co-favorites in the Big Northern East, play in Marengo on Thursday and they’ll hope for weather without a wind chill involved for the sake of the batters.
“It’s brutal,” Nance said. “It’s real cold to have to hit.
“I’d say this was probably a typical Marengo game so far and that is to score two runs and hold on.”