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Thursday, Sep. 1, 2016

Townsend pitches NMCC over East Prairie

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Madrid County Central's Mary Clara Hayes slides safely into home as East Prairie catcher Courtney Carden prepares to catch a throw on Tuesday afternoon in New Madrid. David Jenkins, Staff
NEW MADRID -- When many people think of the New Madrid County Central softball team they think of ace pitcher Kelly Robey. However, the Lady Eagles are more than just a one woman show.

The East Prairie Lady Eagles found that out on Tuesday afternoon, when sophomore Michaela Townsend got the start, leading NMCC to a 10-0 victory.

Townsend, earned her second win of the season, allowing no runs on five hits in five innings, while walking three and striking out 11 while Robey pitched a perfect sixth, striking out two.

"Michaela (Townsend) pitched a great ball game," NMCC coach Steve Rogers said. "She pitched out of a couple of bases loaded jams and it looked like she was getting a little tired after five. She's just a sophomore and she's going to be a real good pitcher for us the next couple of years."

The going wasn't always easy for Townsend who found herself in bases loaded jams in both the fourth and fifth innings.

In the fourth, East Prairie's Caitlyn Harwell and Savanna Barker reached on back-to-back singles to lead off the inning and were followed by a walk to Abbey Henderson. Townsend then struck out the next two hitters before coaxing a fielder's choice to end the inning.

In the fifth, East Prairie again loaded the bases after Desiree Williams walked, and Casy Gilmore bunted her way on to start the inning. After a strikeout, Harwell, who had two hits on the day, drew a walk but Townsend once again got out of the jam by inducing a pop up and ground out.

"Two different innings we had bases loaded and nobody out and couldn't get anybody in," Stokes said. "Their pitcher bared down when she needed to."

As Townsend was keeping East Prairie from scoring, NMCC was collecting hit-after-hit. The Lady Eagles had 11 hits in the game, including eight extra base hits.

"We've been swinging the bats real well and even some of the outs we were making were just line shots at people," Rogers said. "I couldn't be happier with the girls."

NMCC scored three in the first with the help of a Madison Zuck single and a double from Robey, one of her four hits on the afternoon, that included another double and a triple.

After being held scoreless in the second, NMCC plated three more in the third with a singles from Robey and Anna Manley, a double from Nikki Martin and triple from Sara Chapin.

NMCC plated single runs in the fourth and fifth before picking up two in the bottom of the sixth to end the game by the 10-run rule.

"We had some timely hitting and ran the bases pretty good," Rogers said. "East Prairie has a young team and they are improving."

East Prairie, who doesn't have a senior on the roster, fell to 2-6 on the season but didn't leave the game without taking away a few positives.

"Overall I thought we played decent," Stokes said. "We're still young and still trying to figure out who can play where. I thought our defense made some good plays. I thought we missed some easy pop ups we should have caught but we are just trying to find out who can play where."

NMCC improves to 7-0 on the season and will host Delta today in a rematch of Saturday's championship game of the NMCC Invitational, won by the Lady Eagles 11-0.

East Prairie 000 000 -- 0 5 3

NMCC 303 112 -- 10 11 0

WP -- Michaela Townsend. LP -- Caitlyn Harwell. 2B -- (N) Kelly Robey 2, Nikki Martin 2, Samantha Hunter, Sara Ash. 3B -- (N) Robey, Sara Chapin.