Logan Blevins seemingly has little patience while standing inside the batter's box and wastes little time selecting what she feels is the right pitch to swing at.
If the result reflects the kind of base hits Blevins achieved when she centered the ball on the first pitch like what was accomplished Tuesday at Gallop Field, then it will likely suit Mexico head softball coach Keith Louder just fine and bring smiles to Lady Bulldog fans alike.
“I'm one of those players that gets anxious and looks for that first pitch to hit. I'm not a patient batter, and I knew that if Audrey Danielson would get ahead of you in the count she will try to get you with her change up which is pretty good. I did not want to see her change up,” said Blevins. “This was a well-pitched game from both sides. I know Hayley (Mills) pitched her tail off for us, and we wanted to come out and support her.”
The Mexico senior first baseman made a solid connection on the first pitch she saw during each of her first pair of trips to the plate as she smoked a 2-run single and run-scoring single.
Both base hits were up the middle, and Blevins guided the Lady Bulldogs to a 5-2 home softball triumph against Kirksville in North Central Missouri Conference play with all five runs were unearned on the account of four Tiger errors.
“All in all I'm pretty pleased in what I saw from our girls. For us to respond like we did in the bottom of the first after Kirksville scored with us answering with three runs was really good. This established us to have control of the game,” said Mexico softball coach Keith Louder. “It was good how we were able to respond well to their mistakes, and defense-wise and with our pitching, we were able to settle in with our play after the first inning to get the win.”
On her third plate appearance, Blevins rotated her hips but withheld her swing on the first pitch as it sailed around her forehead . She would end up accounting for one-third of her team's total hit production going 2-3 on the night when she grounded out to the shortstop on pitch No. 2.
Blevins 2-run hit spurred a key 3-run first inning for Mexico, giving senior pitcher Hayley Mills some needed confidence to finish the outing strong.
Mills pitched six innings and earned the victory for Mexico (5-2, 2-0 NCMC). She yield one run, four hits, three walks and recorded five strikeouts. Reghan Smith was handed the softball in the seventh to seal the deal. Smith was charged with one unearned run, and two hits.
Kirksville scored in the top half of the initial frae when leadoff batter Kenslie Stufflebean singled and eventually scored onSophie Stuart's base hit to right field.
Mexico's first two batters in the lineup, Taylor Sherrow and Riley Thurman, each reached safely on a fielding error and then Mills helped her cause hitting a RBI single to left field with one out before Blevins stepped inside the box to deliver her go-ahead hit for a 3-1 advantage.
“We knew Kirksville was going to bring good pitching and many of us have played with some girls on the Kirksville team before so we knew one another,” Blevins said. “We wanted to get on top and build a lead first and we accomplished that goal.
The Lady Bulldogs tacked on an insurance tally in the third thanks to Blevins' two-out RBI single that plated Reghan Smith, who reached on an error by the Kirksville centerfielder. Mexico's final run arrived in the bottom of the sixth with two outs when Abbey Oetting reached on an error by the Kirksville third baseman and would score on Shelbi Shaw's double along the right field line.
Kaylee Jones also had a base hit in the game for the Lady Bulldogs.
Kirksville (2-2, 1-1 NCMC) put up a little fight in the top of the seventh off Mexico relief hurler Smith putting three players on base with Sophie Stuart driving home Madison Brewer when there was one out, but the threat ended there.
Losing pitcher Danielson went the distance and all five runs scored against her were unearned. The junior hurler gave up five hits and struck out six batters.
“Kirksville's pitcher did a great job by attacking us with her fastball, and then in the middle to late innings she went to her change up a lot more and it became quite effective for her,” added Mexico coach Louder.”We need to learn how to adjust to that kind of pitch better and put the ball in play. I thought our pitcher Haley did a nice job with her pitches for the most part by keeping their batters a little bit off-balance too.”
Mexico will host conference rival Hannibal on Thursday, while Kirksville is at home against Fulton the same day.