By BOB ETTINGER
For the Star Beacon
The Ohio Outlaws Silver rebounded from a tough loss to win their first game in elimination play Wednesday at the USA-ASA A 16U Nationals in Sunnyvale, Calif. After falling, 3-2, to the Georgia Power TPS Gold on Tuesday, the Outlaws dropped the Minnesota Force, 6-0.
“That was very important,” manager Dave Blashinsky said. “You definitely want to stay in the winner’s bracket in a tournament with this many teams. There are a lot of games yet to be played and if you get into the loser’s bracket, it’s so much more difficult.
“This is a very resilient group. They responded exactly how I’d expect them to respond. They wanted to come right back (after the loss Tuesday). They were anxious to get right back on the field. We had a voluntary practice after (Tuesday) because they wanted to work out. That was their idea. They know what it takes. I’m proud of the fact they didn’t like how it felt and that they are putting themselves in position to not let it happen again.”
The Outlaws will play an opponent yet to be determined at 3 p.m. today.
Nicole Doyle was once again masterful. She struck out 14 and walked two in allowing one hit over six innings of work. It was her second win of the tournament.
“Dealing with great hitters, you have to be able to hit locations,” Blashinsky said. “She’s good with her location and spin. She has good movement. She has two pitches she likes to live on. She knows how to set batters up and she’s very precise on her location. Pitch selection and location make her that much more dangerous.”
Cheyenne Eggens worked the seventh, striking out two, to preserve the win.
Katie Cozy struck for a solo shot in the home half of the first to put the Outlaws up, 1-0. Sam Blashinsky, Doyle and pinch-runner Abbie Thompson all scored in the second to put the Outlaws up, 4-0.
“We jumped on them early and were able to take away their momentum,” Dave Blashinsky said.
Sam Blashinsky and Kourtney Paul each tallied in the fifth to complete the scoring.
Marissa DeMatteo singled, doubled and drove in two, Cozy homered and drove in a pair and Doyle had two hits to pace the Outlaws. Lexi Zappitelli doubled and Sam Blashinsky, Cheyenne Miller and Meagan Brown all added hits.
“We have a team built to come after you in a couple different ways,” Dave Blashinsky said. “We have girls who are powerful. We have girls with good speed who know how to play small ball. We’re good at executing the bunt, steal and hit and run. We’re good at doing the little things.
“At this level, if you’re scoring three, four or five runs a game, you’re doing pretty well. You have to be able to execute and we’ve done that pretty well.”
Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.