MORRIS – An unearned run in the first inning with a freshman inside the pitching circle can sometimes lead to very bad things. When Sandwich softball came to Morris and scored an unearned run in the top of the first against the Redskins, that did not turn out to be the case on Monday.
The Morris bats pounded out 10 hits, and freshman Abby Burns settled in nicely and threw a three hitter, as the Redskins took the non-conference game from the Indians by an 11-1 score in five innings.
Sandwich scored in the first on two hits and an error but Burns stayed composed and retired 11 of the last 12 batters she faced in recording her third win of the season.
“She’s very calm and collected on the mound. She keeps herself together mentally and the team helps her out quite a bit,” Morris coach Jen Lowery said. “She doesn’t feel like she needs to be nervous, because the team backs her up and supports her.”
Sophomore catcher Emily Moore said Burns often shows that trait.
“I catch her in travel ball. I’ve caught her probably 10 times this year … twice this season,” Moore said. “I think she’s really calm about what she does and she doesn’t let anything get to her.”
It helps when the team hits three home runs and two doubles in four innings at the plate. Two of those homers came in the first inning – one off the bat of Taya Torkelson and one off the bat of Moore.
“I think when we saw the first home run we said ‘we got this,’ ” Moore said. “Then it was a matter of keeping our heads in the game.”
For the sophomore Moore, it is her third varsity home run already.
“I think that when one person starts to hit we all hit,” she said. “It’s a trend that we have.”
Though it did take until the fourth inning – Morris scored one run in the fourth on a solo home run by Alex Cook – the Redskins finally did bust loose.
“This team, once someone starts hitting they all hit. It’s like a hit parade. That set the tone,” Lowery said. “The bats are coming around.
“We’ve only played four games but, of the last three games it seems to be what happens – where we get one inning in which we hit and hit and hit.
Morris put the game away in the fourth with a seven-run inning. Leah Lines (2-for-3) reached on an error and Taylor Cole and Maddy Feeney followed with back to back hits. One out later, Torkelson (2-for-3) doubles and Cook was hit by a pitched ball. One out later, Kellen Bernickus and Burns singled back to back and Lines doubled to conclude the scoring in the frame.
They added ten hits, including three homers and two doubles. This trend is something that they hope will continue all spring.
“I’m hoping. I know they are capable of doing it,” Lowery said. “It’s just a matter of staying mentally tight and staying injury free.”
Burns got the win with relief from Laurel Harper who pitched a scoreless fifth.
“I’m very happy. We’ve played some good competition and the girls are happy,” Lowery said. “They are playing well and have great attitudes this year.”