By Bryan Davis
For the last two weeks, the Diamond Eagles of Hebron Christian School (14-8; 4-0) have been cutting it close, playing nothing but one-run games. They have won some, and they have lost some.
What they needed on Tuesday night was a little breathing room for starter Chloe Tapley, who had to pitch eight innings her last time out. She did strikeout a season high 17 batters in last Thursday’s extra-inning win over Kemper Academy.
Fortunately for Tapley, she was able to help her cause in Tuesday’s game against Winston, and Hebron would have a little more room to work with, eventually winning 5-3.
“I thought it was a quality win over a good opponent,” Hebron head coach Cass Tapley said. “We had a few bats that were a little slow early on. Overall, we were a little rusty after the five-day layoff but did what we needed to do to win.”
The Lady Eagles jumped out in front in the first inning, as the pitcher Tapley bunted for a base hit. She would then move to second on a groundout by Cathryn Moore.
This set things up for Magen Tapley, who laced an RBI double to the gap to put her team up 1-0.
Chloe Tapley remained strong in the circle throughout the first three innings, allowing Winston very little to work with.
In the top of the second, Hebron was seeking insurance, and they would get things off to a good start because of a single by Alaina Hill. Chloe Tapley came back to the plate, and she would reach again, this time on an error.
That put two runners on for Moore, who would deliver this time with a single to make it 2-0.
In the top of the third, Hill lad off with a single. Chloe Tapley walked. Moore came to the plate, and she cleared the two runners off the base paths with a double to make it 4-0.
Tori Nichols then laced a single to score Moore to make it 5-0.
In the bottom of the inning, the starter Tapley ran into her first big jam of the game.
Winston would record three hits in the inning, and they would score that many runs. It would not be enough to help their cause though, as they fell to Hebron in the end.
“I thought our defense was pretty good,” Tapley said. “Winston just hit the ball there in the third to get those runs. They were good base hits. They have some hitters that will show you what to do with the ball if you get it out over the plate.”
Hill had two hits in the game for Hebron, with two runs. Moore was 2-for-4, with a double, one run and two RBI.
Magen Tapley was 1-for-3, with a doube and an RBI. Tori Nichols had a hit and an RBI as well.
Beverly Blake finished the night with a double, and Hillary Arnold had a hit in two at-bats.
Chloe Tapley had two hits and two runs on offense. She finished the game in the circle with six innings, 12 strikeouts, scattering four hits. This make 44 strikeouts for Tapley in her last three starts.
“Hopefully, with a steady schedule over the last couple weeks of the season we will get in a good groove,” Tapley said.
Hebron’s next game is at Winona on Thursday at 4 p.m.