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Softball defeats Hamilton Heights

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Wednesday Night

Softball traveled to Hamilton Heights on Wednesday night and defeated the Huskies 9-4.

Tuesday Night

The Danville Warriors softball team and junior Emma Dwyer were too much for the Western Boone Stars to handle on Tuesday evening.

Dwyer struck out 13 Star batters, including five looking and went 3-for-4 with two RBIs at the plate in a 7-3 victory over Western Boone.

“She is fantastic,” Danville head coach Cortnaye Love said. “She works well with our catcher reading the batters and knowing where to place the pitches to where the hitters are doubting themselves. She gets them off with the timing of her pitches too. She is a fantastic leader on and off the field and she really picks our girls up.”

The Stars saw their record fall to 11-13 on the season and have lost five of their last seven games.

Despite the loss on Tuesday, head coach Mike Vanderpool said he saw positives in the game.

“We lost, but I think we took a step back in the right direction,” Vanderpool said. “Last night against West Lafayette and we played horrible. Today was better. We take some of our little miscues away, we are right there with them. There are a lot of positives from tonight.”

Western Boone wasted little time in taking the lead on Tuesday. Camryn Savage singled on the second pitch of the game, then scored when Taylor Vanderpool doubled her in to make it 1-0.

Two batters later, Heather Clark drove in Vanderpool to make it 2-0.

The lead lasted two batters in the bottom of the first. Keara Schroder walked on four pitches, then Kate Barton followed with a 2-run homer to rie the game.

Vanderpool doubled to lead off the third inning, stole third, then scored on a throwing error to give the Stars a 3-2 lead. But again the lead didn’t last, as Dwyer singled home Rees Goldsberry to tie the game the next half inning.

“That has been something that we have hammered home with the girls this year,” Love said. “We want them to stay up and not let one little mistake make us doubt what we are doing. The other team is going to score runs and get hits, that is the nature of the game. We just have to come back and answer.”

The Stars had a chance to take the lead back the next half inning.

With a runner on first and two outs, Savage reached on an error and Vanderpool walked to load the bases for Olivia Hole.

The Stars couldn’t get the clutch hit however, as Hole struck out to end the inning. WeBo had two on with one out in the fifth, but again couldn’t capitalize and never threatened to score again.

“She was throwing an inside pitch that was just freezing our girls,” Vanderpool said. “We have been doing a good job of not going down looking, but we had five tonight and that is too many. If we cut down on that and a couple of other errors we can play with them. Hopefully we fix that on Thursday.”

Danville took the lead in the fourth. Barton (4-for-4, three RBIs, three runs scored) hit an RBI-triple, then scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Cassidy Tewes. Dwyer followed with an RBI-double to make it 6-3.

Tewes hit an RBI-double with two outs in the sixth to plate an insurance run.

The win improved the Warriors to 16-6 and ended a three-game losing streak.

“It was definitely important for us to get our momentum back from the weekend,” Love said. “It was nice that this win clinched us second place in the conference. It has been a long time since Danville has been in the top half of the conference, so it was a big win for us. The losses were tough, but we were playing fantastic teams and we were learning a lot. We need games like that to prepare us for the sectional.”

It was the final home game for the Warrior seniors — Olivia Frye, Ashli Fultz and Kendall Startzman.

“They have been fantastic,” Love said. “I have been here four years and they are my first crop of freshmen. This is a huge thing for me to see them go through all four years and just really grow into leaders. It has been awesome to watch.”

Clark was 3-for-3 to lead the Stars offense. Vanderpool and Luci Evans both went 2-for-3, with Briley Burns going 2-for-4.

Olivia Hole took the loss, going 3 2/3 innings, allowing 8 hits and six runs.

The Stars go to Hamilton Heights tonight, before hosting the Warriors on Thursday.

“We have a couple games left and hopefully we can get a couple of wins and get the momentum going back our way. The last couple of games have been a little rough, so we need a win to get the positive feelings back and momentum heading back our way.”

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