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Well-rounded performance brings big victory for RP Electrical

In a battle of two teams who’ve found plenty of success in freshman league play so far this softball season, RP Electrical (RP) set the tone early with strong pitching and added some timely hitting for a 12-2 win over Leggett & Platt (LP).
RP (4-1) out-hit LP (4-2) 5-2 as each team committed one error.
“I feel good about our draft picks this year and we’re much better as far as pitching goes now,” said RP coach Rowdy Pruitt.
“We’ll get better and we always have to keep working on our hitting,” said LP coach Barry Cox.
“Our girls were a little nervous about the pitching [RP] had. We just have to swing the bat more often.”
Bailey Slovacek (HR, single, RBI) and Taylor Maliska (two singles, RBI) led the RP offense with multi-hit showings. Shelby Pruitt drilled a two-RBI double, while Mercedes Castillo and Rylie Robertson each accounted for an RBI. RP received outstanding pitching from the tandem of Maliska (2 IP, 0 H, 1 W, 5 SO) and Kayla Prachyl (2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 W, 2 SO).
Jada Cox paced the LP offense with an RBI single as Bailee Ervin added a single of her own. Jordyn Seaboalt (2 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 6 W) and Cox (1 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 4 W) shared the pitching duties for their team.
Maliska wasted no time establishing herself as a major factor, striking out the first two batters of the game and then fielding a groundout.
“Taylor has experience from select leagues and this is her first year to play up here with her friends,” Pruitt said.
“She loves softball and it shows.”
Slovacek led off the bottom of the first with a fly single to center as she swiftly stole second base. LP shortstop Arlandria Harris made her team’s defensive play of the game, snagging a line drive and getting the double play with Ervin’s help at second base. Harris then fielded a groundout to get her team into the dugout.
“Arlandria is an excellent defensive player for us and she made some good plays tonight,” Cox said.
After walking the first batter she faced in the second, Maliska fanned the next three to end her pitching stint in style. Maliska led off the RP second with a single up the middle, stole a couple of bases and scored on a Castillo RBI groundout for a 1-0 advantage. While RP would score four more runs in the inning on passed balls, Harris’ defense showed up again as she made a nice retreating grab on a fly ball to shallow left center.
Ervin led off the LP third with a single to left as RP’s Prachyl had now taken over for Maliska in the circle. Though Ervin did manage to score on a passed ball for a 5-1 game, Prachyl quickly fanned a couple of batters while second baseman Pruitt made an outstanding running catch behind first base.
“Bailee is our veteran, so I knew she’d come through,” Cox said.
“Shelby and Bailey are best friends who love to work on getting better as softball players,” Pruitt said.
“They always work on throwing fly balls to each other for running catches and it paid off there. Kayla has a nice curveball and she really did well taking over for Taylor.”
Leading off the RP third, Slovacek drilled a grounder to deep left field and sped all the way around the bases for an inside-the-park homer. Maliska soon added an RBI single and RP would come out of the inning up 9-1 with a run on a fielding error and another via a Robertson RBI groundout. LP catcher Dominique Carrillo did throw out a baserunner to end the threat.
“Bailey has improved tremendously as a ballplayer and matured as a person,” Pruitt said.
“She knows a lot more about the game this year.”
“It’s important to be able to throw out runners when we get the chance,” Cox said.
An infield RBI single by Cox did make it a 9-2 game in the LP fourth, yet RP really benefited from more stout defense. After center fielder Paige Heine made an excellent grab of a fly ball, left fielder Castillo made a quick snag and throw on a grounder for a fielder’s choice out at third base – something rarely seen on a ball hit to the outfield.
“We needed that hit from Jada and I hoped it might start a rally,” Cox said.
“This is Mercedes’ first year with me and she really helped us tonight,” Pruitt said.
“I was very impressed to see her get that fielder’s choice with a good throw. Paige normally plays shortstop, but it paid off to have her make that nice catch in center.”
The game ended on a time limit in the bottom of the fourth, but not before RP added a few more runs to its total.
On the heels of a run scoring on a wild pitch, Pruitt connected on a two-RBI double to left that finalized the score.
“We’ll be back and are still a good team in this league,” Cox said.
“I believe other teams will start to get more hits against us, so we’ll have to keep getting better in the outfield,” Pruitt said.
“It’s all about a team effort for us.”

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Posted by on May 21 2008. Filed under Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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