HOBART | The wind was howling on Thursday at Hobart, and it definitely affected the play in the Northwest Crossroads Conference game between Lowell and the host Brickies since plenty of balls were hit to the outfield.
A balanced offense and some spectacular plays on defense allowed the Red Devils to roll past Hobart 7-0 and keep up their recent improved play.
Eight of the nine hitters in Lowell’s lineup had at least one hit and six players scored a run for the Devils (9-4, 4-2). The offense started in the first inning as the first three hitters — Christina Rosenbaum, Hunter Jusevitch and Emma Littrell all reached base and came around to score.
In the third, three more runs scored during a two-out rally by the bottom of the order. No 5 hitter Kaitlyn Marshall reached on a single, followed by a walk to pitcher Brooke Cummins, a single by Caitlyn Walter – a run scored on an error by the center fielder – and a two-run single by Jessica Shope.
It helped Cummins overcome a couple of miscues in the field.
“Our hitters have been making up for our errors,” she said.
Those two errors were also made up by a couple of outstanding plays by a pair of outfielders.
In the fourth, Hobart (5-7, 2-3) could have easily scored multiple runs if not for the efforts of Frankie Rebesco and MacKenzie Connors. Amanda Sandilla hit a shot to left field that Rebesco dove and caught. After Brianna Kraft reached base for the Brickies, Brittany Probasco’s hard-hit ball to right field was caught by Connors on another diving play. Jusevitch, who moved to center field from shortstop recently, ended the inning with a catch of another deep fly ball.
“I was screaming (from the circle) when they made those catches,” said Cummins, who had four strikeouts and only gave up one hit in the complete-game shutout. “It’s nice to know they have my back.”
Lowell coach Pete Iussig moved some players around to change up the defense.
“Hunter had been our shortstop for three years and we moved Walter to third base,” he said. “I think our outfield is solid now.”
Hobart had a great catch of its own in the seventh when a long fly ball hit by Lowell’s Jessica Shope was caught by Paige Talian on a dive in which she hit her head against the fence. She laid there for a couple seconds before holding up the glove with the ball.
“She’s all right – that was a great catch,” said Brickies’ coach Katrina Lucas in her first game back after giving birth to a healthy boy named Brayden last week.
Before Lucas went on the short maternity leave, her offense was rolling. But it’s been stalled during a three-game losing streak.
“We did make some good contact today, but Lowell was making good plays in the outfield,” she said. “So I think we’ll break out of it soon enough.”