Focus factor: Lady Eagles advance

n Next up is a quarterfinal clash against Smithville.
By GENE PHELPS
Daily Journal
PINE GROVE – Lisa Bogue’s team didn’t lose focus Tuesday.
Her West Union club belted 19 hits, including three inside-the-park home runs, to defeat Pine Grove 21-3 in Game 3 of their MHSAA Class 1A second-round fastpitch softball series.
The Lady Eagles (15-5) advanced to the state quarterfinals, which begins Thursday with a 6 p.m. game at Smithville.
“We were extremely focused,” Bogue said. “I thought we lost focus Saturday. We preached about that this week and we came out focused today.”
In the series’ first two games, played last Saturday at West Union, the Lady Eagles won the opener, 5-1, but lost the second game to the Lady Panthers, 7-5.
“We had six errors in that game for sure,” Bogue said. “We probably had more.”
In the Game 3, West Union committed four errors, but none were costly because of the team’s productive offensive output and the solid pitching of right-hander Dani Taylor (13-4), who recorded a no-hitter.
Taylor struck out five, walked two and hit one batter. All three of the Panthers’ runs were unearned.
The Lady Eagles took an 8-2 lead through three innings, then busted the game open with a six-run fourth inning.
West Union added seven more runs in the fifth inning to help end the game on the 10-run run.
Kimberly Jumper, L.P. Goolsby and Taylor homered for the winners. Claire Wilkerson had two triples while Jumper and Jessica Ganger had four hits apiece. Goolsby also added a double and a triple.
Pine Grove (10-11) fielded a lineup that featured two seventh graders, one eighth grader and two freshmen, including starting pitcher Jesse Collins.
“They hit the ball better today,” Pine Grove coach Brad Pounders said, referring to West Union’s success at the plate. “They hit the ball hard, but we should have made some plays to get out of the inning before they scored.”
Pine Grove made five errors, four in the first three innings.
n Linescore, Page 2B

Gene Phelps