Shippensburg has a pair of home runs and plays solid defense in 7-3 defeat of Big Spring on Tuesday. Video by Lizi Arbogast
When junior Ashley Macedo smashed a softball hard to leftfield on Tuesday afternoon, all of the Shippensburg faithful held a collective breath.
It surely had the power to make it over the fence, but would it be fair?
The Lady Hounds were pleasantly awarded, as Macedo's ball sailed just inside foul territory for her first career home run that put Ship squarely in the driver's seat. From that point, the Hounds never trailed Big Spring and eventually claimed a 7-3 victory in a Mid Penn Colonial Division opener.
"I was watching it and saw it was high, and I just thought, 'Ooo, I don't know,'" Macedo said. "But Bekkah (Funk), my first base coach, was yelling at me to go, go, go, and everyone got so excited. I was so happy to run around those bases; it was an amazing feeling."
Ship coach Mike Peters said, "Ashley's kind of the spark plug of our team; she's like the Energizer Bunny, and she gets us going. Her job is to get on base, so usually she slaps or bunts, but she can hit. When she hit it, I was tagging Maddie Kline up, thinking we had a sac fly, but it just kept going and going; we got a dinger for Ashley."
Macedo wasn't the only one with a trip around the bases. Morgan Fetter turned the first pitch of the third into a home run, and Brooklyn Wagner also rocketed one over the fence for the Bulldogs (5-2, 0-1 MPC).
Despite the heavy-hitting game, during which the Hounds (3-0, 1-0 MPC) had eight hits, it was defense that made the biggest difference. Shippensburg had one late error that didn't cause any damage, while Big Spring suffered from three miscues, a pair of mental mistakes and four unearned runs.
"Defense let us down both games that we've lost this year," Bulldog coach Mike Gutshall said. "Not taking away anything from Shippensburg - that's a good team over there - and not saying we would've won, but the defense let it get out of hand."
Peters said, "I really thought the key today was our defense. We had some nice plays - Sami (Barmont's) play at short, Maddie's play in left - and I thought it was fitting to end the game on a double play."