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Battle’s bats, Gate City’s miscues doom Lady Devils

By KEVIN MAYS [email protected] • Apr 19, 2018 at 12:33 AM

BRISTOL, Va. — John Battle and Gate City are both approaching the rest of the softball season with a focus on improving every game and being ready to challenge in the postseason.

Battle’s focus on getting more offensive production showed Wednesday as the Lady Trojans pounded out eight hits and took advantage of five walks and three Gate City errors to take a 9-0 Mountain 7 District win at Battle Field.

Co-head coach Joey Blevins was pleased with the way the bats came to life for Battle (8-3, 5-1).

“We’ve been trying to get the bats to warm up a little,” said Blevins. “We started the season out a little cold with the bats. Tonight, they started warming up a little. The big thing is we’re getting better with every game.

“We just want to keep getting better with every game, and when get into May we’ve got to start peaking out. We’ve got the kind of kids to do it and they’re excited.”

Maggie Deel came up big with the bat for the Lady Trojans. She finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs, while Autumn Sexton went 3-for-4. Emma Harmon delivered a two-RBI double.

Sophomore pitcher Madison Hill picked up the complete-game shutout win.

She scattered four hits while giving up four walks and struck out six in holding Gate City scoreless.

“They just out-executed us,” said Gate City coach Cara Noe. “We couldn’t put bunts down, we had too many balls get by us, too many walks. They just out-executed us.”

Gate City (4-5-1, 1-1) threatened to score in the first inning and again in the fifth. But both times, Battle’s defense shut down the threat.

With 10 Mountain 7 District games remaining on the schedule, Noe said it’s time for the Lady Blue Devils to start working on eliminating some of their mistakes.

“We’ve got to start tomorrow and fix those things. It’s district-loaded from this point forward and we’ve just got to get better,” the coach said.

Sarah Thompson, Kate Pendleton, Alyssa Clark and Kinslee Hammons accounted for Gate City’s four hits.

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