Andrean’s Nikki Steinbach no-hits Munster
Updated: April 25, 2012 10:33PM
MERRILLVILLE — Andrean pitcher Nikki Steinbach was looking for some redemption on Wednesday.
After a less-than-stellar performance — by her standards — on Tuesday against Munster, Steinbach responded by throwing a no-hitter in a 2-0 Andrean (10-1, 7-1 NCC) victory over Lowell (8-8, 3-5).
“After my game against Munster I wanted to step up because I didn’t do my best in that game,” said Steinbach. “I wanted to be stronger; be the pitcher that I know I am.”
Steinbach fanned 10 Lowell hitters while walking one. Two other runners reached base on catcher’s interference and a fielding error, but Steinbach did not allow any of those runners to get past second base.
“I was throwing every pitch I had,” said Steinbach. “It was all working.”
The way Steinbach reacted to her lone walk — against the second batter of the game — impressed Andrean coach Fred Steinbach, who was serving as the head coach in Brooke Baker-Runyon’s absence.
“The first few hitters battled her well,” he said. “You have to give Nicole credit for staying focused out there. That’s what a good pitcher is supposed to do. When you have adversity, you have to rise to the occasion.”
Steinbach got tougher to hit as the game wore on, with the final 12 Lowell batters going down in order — seven of them on strikeouts.
“We talked about what Steinbach throws (before the game),” said Lowell head coach Pete Iussig. “But it’s easy for me to say, ‘look for her screwball or her changeup.’ I’m not the one batting.”
Andrean’s offense came through in the first inning with the only runs of the game, giving Steinbach more than enough run support.
Savvy Kinsella drew a leadoff walk, followed by a single from Kaitlyn Barajas. After a Morghyn Neal sacrifice bunt moved them into scoring position, Steinbach singled to drive Kinsella home. Barajas later scored on a Brenna Boyle sacrifice fly.