Harder pitching gem lifts Lady Tigers over Seneca
Junior hurler Abby Harder's superb performance in the circle, combined with dynamite defensive-play propelled the Nevada Lady Tigers to a 5-2 victory over the Seneca Lady Indians on Thursday.
The non-conference road triumph moves Nevada to 6-4 overall and 2-1 in the Big 8 Conference.
Harder worked in efficient seven innings, needing just 67 pitches to notch the complete-game pitching victory. Harder, who allowed just five hits an earned run, struck out four while walking none.
"Abby did a great job for us tonight," said Lady Tiger head coach, Danny Penn. "She was dynamite in the circle, attacking the strike zone, and letting her defense work behind her."
Added Penn: "(Abby's)struggling a little bit at the plate, but I'm so proud of how she is able to compartmentalize, and leave her offense in the dugout when she's in the circle pitching for us. It's a true sign of her maturity, and growth as a player."
As Penn noted, his squad's defense also rose to the occasion. Junior shortstop Tylin Heathman, one of the top middle infielders in the state of Missouri, had eight put outs — while sophomore second baseman Bailey Ast added an additional four. Heathman, Ast, and sophomore first baseman Claire Pritchett also executed a (6-4-3) double-play.
Heathman, who also brings star power to the dish, broke open a 2-2 contest on the sixth, driving in Harder and senior Madison Hyder.
Leading 4-2, Nevada tacked on an insurance run in the seventh via Pritchett's RBI-double — accounting for the final margin.
"Offensively, we struggled tonight," Penn said, as his club was limited to six hits. "I thought we were very passive, and took way too many called third-strikes. It was frustrating because we've been swinging the bat well lately, so I was caught off-guard by our passiveness at the plate."
The Lady Tigers return to the diamond Tuesday (Sept. 17) for a Big 8 road-clash with Logan-Rogersville.
Nevada is then home on Thursday, as the Lady Tigers play host to archrival Lamar.
First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m. from Bushwhacker Field.