The Lone Tree Lady Lions started its season with three losses before finding their way on the win column with two straight against Calamus-Wheatland and Pekin. This led to two tourney losses. The …
The Lone Tree Lady Lions started its season with three losses before finding their way on the win column with two straight against Calamus-Wheatland and Pekin. This led to two tourney losses. The Lady Lions entered the week with a 2-5 record, looking to take on the New London Tigers who were 0-5 before the matchup.
The Lady Lions did not disappoint, letting the runs pour out into the night, bringing home 15 and ending the game early with a 12-run lead, 15-3.
The Lady Lions brought the energy early. With the score tied at one in the bottom of the first, sophomore Rylee Shield beat a throw to first, bringing home the second run. The Lady Lions would not look back. Sophomore Bella Pourry followed with a two RBI single.
Entering the second 4-1, an error by pitcher Alex Dautremont allowed New London to score. Sophomore Vivian Zaruba scored in the third after being hit by a pitch. Eighth grader Olivia Magruder followed by getting hit as well. Junior Lila Bell laid down a sacrifice bunt to bring both into scoring position. Junior Hogan Eden brought home Zaruba with an RBI single.
A wild pitch by Dautremont in the third allowed another run. Despite some struggles, Dautremont had a solid performance.
“She pitched well, a few missed pitches but that’s alright, that’s going to happen. We’ll keep working on it,” head coach Jovonte Squiers said. “Her stamina was good. Pitch count was good. We really got the counts we wanted to, a few that weren’t so good but that’s alright, we’re going to battle through it and our defense stepped up big tonight.”
The bottom of the third was a big one for the Lady Lions. Pourry got on base due to an error. Eighth grader Addison McCullough followed by attempting a bunt. On a two-strike count, she swapped to bat right-handed, the switch hitter reached first due to an error. Eighth grader
Abby Zaruba laid down a successful bunt and yet another error brought Pourry home.
Vivian Zaruba followed with an RBI single. Magruder as well. Still no outs, Bell was hit by a pitch and Dautremont hit a single off the pitcher’s glove. A throw home beat Zaruba to the plate for the first out. An error and two more wild pitches scored three more, bringing the score to 11-3 after three.
After a quiet top of the fourth, the Lady Lions came out of the dugout ready to end the game. Zaruba led with a leadoff single. Magruder hit a double down the left field line. Bell was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Dautremont, also hit, brought home Zaruba. A lineout to third saw a throw home with Magruder avoiding the tag by the catcher to score, a nifty move to get the 13th run of the game. Pourry hit an RBI single directly after.
Freshman Ava Christofferson had a chance to end it with a sacrifice fly while pinch running for Dautremont but did not take the opportunity. Now with two outs, Abby Zaruba took her spot at the plate. The previous inning ended with her striking out and leaving the bases loaded. She had a chance at redemption.
Zaruba forced a walk in a good at-bat, bringing home Christofferson to end the game by mercy rule in the bottom of the fourth.
Something Squiers thought his team did well in this game was laying down bunts and using speed to their advantage, something they struggled with early in the season. He believes that along with bunting, he’d like to see better contact swings, creating more line drive opportunities rather than popups.
“Our ceiling is still high. We’ve got some room to work, we’re not going to be content,” Squiers said. “We’re working to get better every day.”
This impressive win for the Lady Lions is the building block they’ve been searching for. They hope to build off the win in the coming days when they play Winfield-Mt Union on June 6, Highland on June 8, Hillcrest on June 9 and finally a doubleheader against Tri-County on June 10.
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