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April 17, 2013

Eastern’s Oyler shuts down Logansport

Berries strand eight runners on base over last four innings.

Logansport’s softball team allowed four unearned runs, and it turned out there was no room for error.

That’s because of a strong performance by Eastern starting pitcher Abby Oyler.

The hard-throwing junior right-hander fired a four-hit shutout to lift the Comets to a 4-0 win over the Berries on Wednesday at Fincher Field.

“I’ll give her the credit for that,” Logan coach Jim Bacon said. “She’s good. I think the curveball was working for her. We were laying off, and evidently it was hitting the outside corner.”

Oyler was perfect through the first three innings. The Berries (2-5) finally got some offense going after that, but they stranded eight runners over the last four innings as Oyler time after time was able to come up with big outs when the Berries had runners in scoring position.

Oyler fanned eight while pitching around two walks, a hit batsman and one Eastern error.

Logan freshman pitcher Bailie Long, like she has all season, kept the Berries in the game. She doesn’t yet have the velocity of an Oyler but displayed a good assortment of pitches with sharp movement.

Long allowed four runs (none earned) on 10 hits, striking out four and walking none.

“She does an excellent job,” Bacon said. “As long as we’re playing good defense, she’s pitching well enough for us to win.

“But we still have to score.”

A dropped ball on a liner to left led to two Eastern runs in the fourth inning. Maddie Vint singled in one of the runs, and another scored on the second error of the inning by a Berry outfielder.

“That was a catchable ball in left field. Without that they don’t score,” Bacon said. “It was a good hit, we made a good effort, but it was one we needed to catch.”

An error by the Logan second baseman started another Eastern rally in the seventh. Ally Oyler had an RBI triple, and Quinlyn Hochstedler followed with an RBI groundout on what could have been the third out of the inning.

“It’s the same old thing,” said Bacon of the errors that have hurt his team in five losses already in the early season.

As for the excuse of poor weather this spring having to do with the errors, Bacon said, “It’s the best one we have.

“No. Eastern had only played four games, so it’s not a good excuse. No one else has got games in either, so we’ve just got to hit. We’ve got to hit the ball and score some runs.”

Alexis Rennewanz went 2-for-3 to lead the Berries at the plate. Sydney Thompson and Bailey Kelley each added a base hit.

Vint went 3-for-4 to lead the Comets (5-0). Abby Oyler and Brooke Stout had two hits apiece.

Logan travels to Class 2A No. 6 Cass tonight, weather permitting.

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