BUCYRUS – While the Upper Sandusky Lady Rams were playing through snow flurries, the Bucyrus Lady Redmen were playing through a flurry of strikeouts at the strong right arm of Rams’ freshman Blayc Hacker.
Hacker rolled in to Bucyrus High School a youngster, and left looking like a veteran earning the complete game, five inning, no hitter win in a 13-0 dismantling of Bucyrus. The Lady Rams were one error away from providing Hacker with a perfect game. The first Bucyrus batter of the game reached base on a dropped third strike.
“She pitched a great game. Blayc works extremely hard in the offseason and has a passion for what she does,” Upper Sandusky coach David Young said. “We also had a great umpire who was calling the corners. I preach to all of my pitchers that we need to paint the corners and not throw pitches down the middle. We have not been getting those calls like we were getting today.”
Hacker expects this type of performance out of herself with all of the time she puts into getting better.
“I play travel ball and I spend a lot of time working,” she said. “My fastball was hitting its spots and my screwball was working well. It was a fun game to pitch in because I did not let the cold bother me.”
What also impressed Young was the way his offense responded to the cold, blistery wind. His Rams racked up 16 hits and scored 13 runs in just five innings. Senior Katie Taylor was 4-4 at the plate with three singles, a triple, and three RBIs. Five Rams recorded two or more hits. Along with Taylor, sophomore Madison Vince was perfect from the plate going 2-2 with a pair of singles. Freshman Madeline Dyer, junior Jaya Smalley and sophomore Sara Gier contributed with two or more hits. Dyer poked three singles, scored three runs, stole three bases and drove in a run.
“I told the girls before we got off the bus to forget about this weather. The came out and hit the ball very hard. Our defense played well. We didn’t make an error out in the field and held them to one base runner. It was a great all-around performance for this team,” Young said.
Although the Lady Redmen failed to get a hit, head coach Jerry Hargis is still happy with his team. With the rough weather mixed with a young inexperienced team, a down year was expected for the Lady Redmen. With some experience, Bucyrus has some major expectations beyond this year.
“It was a cold game and these girls are young,” Hargis said. “Maybe the effort level was not there but I am still very happy with the direction of this team. We are going to have bumps in the road and we are going to lose some games, but we are going to learn from it and get a lot better because of the growing pains we are going through now.”
Hacker’s line was impressive. She did not allow a hit, run, or a walk. She struck out 11 of the 16 batters she faced. She was one squeeze of the catcher’s mitt away from a perfect game.
The Rams kept the pace in the Northern 10 conference race with a win. They remain just one game behind the league leader Carey and remain tied with Colonel Crawford for second place. The 10-1 (6-1 N10) Rams will travel to Mohawk on Thursday for an important N10 game.
The Lady Redmen drop to 1-9 (1-7 N10) and have now lost six in a row. They look to get back into the win column when they host Buckeye Central on Thursday.