WHITING | Kouts coach Tim McNeil admits that his ace can have that one bad inning now and then, but he ultimately knows she'll come through in the end.
Easten McNeill did exactly that in Monday night's Class A Whiting Sectional opening-round 12-3 win over LaCrosse.
She went the distance, allowing three runs on four hits and struck out 10, but had a troublesome fourth inning after LaCrosse tallied two on a single and two errors.
"She can be dominant at times, but there's that one inning," McNeil joked. "It's been like that since she was 8."
Kouts (11-10) struck first with a run in the first after left fielder Alyse Rosenbaum reached via error and got to second on an errant throw. She was driven home on a Kelsey Blood sac fly.
The Fillies scored again in the second thanks to a Jenna Jessen RBI single.
Kouts then exploded for eight runs in the third, which was highlighted by a two-run double from Blood.
"Over the last month, we've struggled with the hit-and-run, but we had good, timely hits today," McNeil said.
LaCrosse (6-18) also had the bases loaded with one out in the fifth, but they came away with just one after McNeill struck out the next two.
"It's a young team," LaCrosse coach David Amor said. "The future bodes well because seven of our players are sophomores, including our pitcher."
In the first game of the day, Morgan Twp. crushed Bowman Academy 24-3 in five innings.
With everyone but one player scoring for the Cherokees (6-15), Katie Bachert led the way by going 3-for-4 with a home run, five RBIs and two runs while Sarah Michalec added two hits, four runs, and three RBIs.
Catcher Alisha Hayes went 1-for-3 with a triple and a run for the Eagles (1-10).
"It's a disadvantage to have a draw like this because of the slow pitching," Morgan Twp. coach Larry Babcock said. "We have to hit the ball a little better because we hit a lot in the air. We also have to eliminate the errors, too."