Edinburgh freshman pitcher MacKenzie Bieker is convinced her softball team is headed in the right direction.
“We’ve made many improvements,” she said. “We’ve definitely gotten better. I’m excited to see what’s going to happen (in the sectional).”
Bieker drilled two homers in host Edinburgh’s 20-1 rout of Indian Creek in five innings Friday in the first round of the Johnson County tournament. The Lancers (11-9) will play Class 4A No. 8 Center Grove (17-6) today in a 10 a.m. semifinal.
Bieker, who had her first two home-run game at any level, went 3 for 4 with five runs batted in. She belted a two-run homer in the 12-run third inning and added a three-run blast in the fourth.
On the mound, Bieker gave up three hits, struck out seven and didn’t allow a walk. The lone run came on Indian Creek’s Delaney Heminger’s home run in the top of the second, which gave the Braves a 1-0 lead.
“I was nervous but knew my team would back me up,” Bieker said. ‘It was important we win this game, so I was really happy about that.”
Lancers coach Ben Taylor is eager to see how Bieker pitches against Center Grove, knowing it is a tall order.
“It’s a good test for her,” Taylor said. “Not expecting crazy things to happen, but they do sometimes."
Taylor said it was nice to see his team get 19 hits against three different pitchers.
“More so than the final score, it was about still trying to work our bats and make sure our offense is still growing the way we want it to grow right now,” Taylor said.
With two outs in the fourth, Taylor had his player leave second base early to be called out for the final out.
“I’m not a big fan of running (the score) up too far,” Taylor said. “The home runs made it go up higher than what we wanted it to, so I was trying to get through the lineup the last time. We’ve had a couple girls in a little slump, so we wanted to do them justice.”
One of those was freshman Kyah Streeval, who snapped out of it by going 4 for 5 with a solo homer and run-scoring single. Senior designated hitter Catey Streeval put the Lancers ahead for good at 2-1 with a two-run homer in the second inning.
Lancers senior Kaitlyn Bailey had three hits, including a two-run double. Sophomore Gracie Crawhorn was 3 for 3 with an RBI.
The Braves’ record dropped to 4-14.
“We had everyone out of position because we have so many injuries right now,” Indian Creek coach Gary Mitchell said. “We’re plugging holes and trying to survive. We have a couple brand new pitchers learning how to pitch.”
Mitchell said he is proud his team keeps battling.
“We’re just undermanned right now,” Mitchell said. “We’re getting better. Some of these girls have never played before. At the beginning of the season, they couldn’t catch fly balls. Now we’re throwing to the right bag. It’s been a work in progress.”