Carey’s pitching, defense stymie BC

CAREY – Abby Hall won’t be confused for Dustin Pedroia or Brandon Phillips anytime soon.

But for an afternoon, the Carey second basemen certainly impressed Buckeye Central coach Roger Durnwald.

“She’s a major league second baseman,” Durnwald muttered after another spectacular play by the Blue Devil.

Between her defense and the pitching of Ali Rymer, the Blue Devils kept the Buckettes scoreless and nearly hitless in a 4-0 victory Monday afternoon at Waterworks Park.

“We had another solid (defensive effort). We’ve been behind our pitchers all year long. We had another great performance on defense,” Carey coach Teresa Jacoby said. “Abby Hall had a great game at second base. She’s really been shining for us this year.”

Rymer moved to 4-3 on the year with a one-hit shutout for the Blue Devils (5-4). She struck out seven and walked one. She said one of her pitches was really working, as was the defense behind her.

“It allows me to throw some down the middle because I know have the defense behind me that can actually get the balls and make plays. It feels good to be able to pitch what I want,” Rymer said. “I threw a rise ball a lot today and a lot of high stuff and they were going for it.”

But Hall was the one both coaches talked about after the game.

“She probably cost us three runs,” Durnwald said. “She is a fantastic player. She covered so much ground.”

Hall made nine putouts in the game but there were two in particular that really stood out.

In the top of the third, with two outs and runners on second and third, Morgan Wurm ripped a rocket liner. Hall soared into the air and speared it, ending the threat and the inning.

“I was just really focused today and Ali was doing a good job pitching and I was ready to go,” Hall said. “I think I had a pretty good shot at grabbing that one. Normally I miss those (line shots).”

The next time came in the sixth. With runners on first and second and no outs, it was Wurm again with the smash. This time it was a wormburner that caused Hall to dive to her right for it. She stabbed it and from the ground, flipped to shortstop Hannah Draper to get the force out. It was the first of three straight outs for the Buckettes (8-6).

“She moves left and right. She gets balls up the middle. She had that great turn on the ball tonight on that one behind her,” Jacoby said. “She’s just been playing great defense.”

Hall made the switch to second base this year and clearly the transition has gone well.

“I normally played first base and this year they moved to second and I enjoy it,” Hall said. “It’s a lot more fielding and at first, it’s a lot of turn around and catch the ball. There’s some fielding, but not near as much as second. It was a good change.”

On the other side of the equation, it was BC errors that allowed Carey to score a few in the fourth inning. Taylor Fletcher led off with a double and was driven in by Draper who smoked a triple to deep center. She scored on an overthrow to third, giving the Blue Devils a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Sydney Wentling came into score. She had reached base on an error, moved to third on another error and scored when Rymer grounded out to second base.

Sydney Wentling scored an insurance run in the sixth inning when Dani Berardinelli-Clark singled her in.

“We have just been aggressive on the bases and looking for every extra base we can get and tonight that really helped us, taking advantage of the extra bases,” Jacoby said.

The lack of hitting, just a single by Syndey Long, was a bit perplexing to Durnwald. He said he felt his team may have been more focused on dresses rather than diamonds.

“It was our bats and lack of energy. There was nothing there tonight,” Durnwald said. “I think it is pre-prom thoughts (about Saturday). I heard a lot of prom talk before the game instead of softball talk like we usually do. We’re coming out early (today) for some extra batting practice and they’ll be doing some extra running before the game and see if that can’t get them a little more motivated.”

Wurm (8-6) took the loss. She scattered eight hits over seven innings, striking out four and walking none.

All but two Blue Devils had a hit, with Makenzie Wentling leading the way with a triple and a single.