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NMCC improves to 9-0 with win over East Prairie

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

(Photo)
New Madrid County Central's Madison Zuck connects on a pitch Tuesday against East Prairie. NMCC defeated East Prairie 14-4 in five innings. Chris Pobst, Staff
EAST PRAIRIE -- They didn't take their foot off the gas this time around.

A day after allowing the Dexter Lady Bearcats to close a 16-run lead to three, the New Madrid County Central Lady Eagles made quick work of the East Prairie Lady Eagles Tuesday in a 14-4 win at East Prairie.

"We had a little lapse in playing, throwing strikes and playing defense yesterday and I'm glad they came back today," NMCC head coach Steve Rogers said. "I'm glad we had a little bit better effort and enthusiasm and played like we're capable of."

A strong outing by NMCC starter Michaela Townsend went hand-in-hand with the Lady Eagles' offense who sprayed 19 hits.

Mary Clara Hayes led NMCC (9-0) with three doubles. Madison Zuck and Anna Manley also had three hits. Manley added a double as well.

"We're swinging the bats real well," Rogers said. "We have really good team speed. They're hustling everything out, we're going from first to second and stealing bases. We're putting pressure on the other team and that's how we play."

Townsend threw all five innings allowing four runs on seven hits and one walk. She also struck out eight.

"We got on them early and Michaela threw strikes," said Rogers. "We played good defense behind her. The girls are on their toes because they know the ball is going to be put in play with her pitching." East Prairie's Caitlyn Harwell was Townsend's biggest thorn in her side. Harwell connected for two doubles and also scored a run.

Harwell was also Townsend's opposite on the rubber who also pitched five innings.

"Caitlyn's still young and we have to work on her throwing harder," East Prairie coach Steve Stokes said. "Her control is getting better and she fields her position well. She's good to have there at that position."

Each team pushed two runs across in the first inning. The aggressive NMCC Lady Eagles, however, scored five runs in their half of the second and then three more in the third to take a commanding 10-2 advantage.

NMCC, who routinely took extra bases, stretched base hits into two bases and went from first to third, had six hits in the second inning which included five doubles. Emma Karafa, Whitney Williams, Dallas Campbell, Katie Rausch and Mary Clara Hayes all had doubles during NMCC's five run second inning.

A two-RBI single by Williams sparked a four run fourth inning for NMCC which put them ahead 14-2.

East Prairie, who committed upwards of 10 errors, tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth after Alexa Nordwald scored on a single by Katie Byassee. Byassee later scored on a passed ball.

"We hit the ball well and I was pleased with that part of it," Stokes said. "The biggest thing was the errors. You can't do that against them or any team, for that matter. We know that they're an aggressive team and they're going to take every opportunity they can.

"It was a 10-run rule, but I thought we played decent with a good team."

Needing just one more run to keep the game going, Townsend sat East Prairie down in order in the bottom of the fifth to end the game on the 10-run mercy rule.

NMCC, who have won 52 games in a row, will play Delta today at 4 p.m.

NMCC 253 40 -- 14 19 2

East Prairie 200 20 -- 4 7 9

WP -- Michaela Townsend. LP -- Caitlyn Harwell. 2B -- (NM) Anna Manley, Dallas Campbell, Katie Rausch, Mary Clara Hayes 3, Meredith Stanley, Whitney Williams, Townsend. (EP) Harwell 2. Multiple hitters -- (NM) Madison Zuck 3-4, Manley 3-4, Campbell 2-4, Rausch 2-4, Hayes 3-4, Williams 2-3, Townsend 2-3. (EP) Harwell 2-3, Lauren Magee 2-3.