PRESTON — Northeast coach Travis Eversmeyer couldn’t have asked for more out of his ace Wednesday night. Maddison Daniels was on her 16th inning, having allowed only five runs in a two-game set with Preston. Game 2 carried into extra innings, and by the ninth inning, Daniels had sent down 10 straight batters.
Eversmeyer said he knew he could ride Daniels to the end.
“She threw lights out again. We’re going to ride that arm as far as we can go,” he said. “I kept asking her throughout the game, ‘Are you good to go?’ She wants the ball in her hand, and we have confidence in her ability.”
Yet, Preston found its bats when it counted. Leading off a 2-2 ninth inning, Brooke Krogman singled up the middle, and her Trojans teammates moved her into scoring position. A sacrifice fly by Larissa Ruchotzke scored Krogman, and Preston followed with a 1-2-3 bottom half to close out a sweep of their rival Rebels, 3-2 after a 3-0 win in Game 1.
Preston pitcher Lizzie Meier earned two wins in 11 shutout innings between both games. She even helped her cause in Game 1 going 3-for-3 at the plate with a fifth-inning, two-run double that wound up the difference maker.
“We knew that we had to step up and we did,” Meier said. “It’s a pretty big rivalry, and we knew they were a really good team. We knew we had to play our best to beat our rival.”
Daniels, meanwhile, allowed only three runs in each game. It was enough for a Trojans team that didn’t falter defensively. Eversmeyer said the key was Northeast’s inability to manufacture runs; two runs through 16 innings won’t cut it against good competition.
“Granted, they threw great games ... but we got to be able to hit the ball better than we did and put the ball in play,” he said. “Our confidence is way down at the plate for no reason. These kids can hit the ball, and they just have to believe it.”