Softball: Freshman comes through for Eagles

By Bryan Burns, Times Staff Writer
Published February 16, 2008

EAST LAKE - With pitcher Kim Mazzapica still nursing a groin injury sustained in preseason, East Lake coach Mike Estes has relied on freshman Hayley Davis to assume the Eagles' pitching duties until Mazzapica returns in about a week.

And though the Eagles have stumbled out of the starting blocks, losing their first two district games and four of six overall, Davis has been a bright spot.

Against Seminole, Davis pitched a complete game, scattering five hits and allowing just one run to lead the Eagles to a 2-1 victory over the previously unbeaten Warhawks.

"We're asking her to pitch an awful lot with Kim, our No. 1 starter, hurt," Estes said. "She's pitched her heart out for us."

Davis (3-4) got into trouble in the third inning with runners on the corners and two outs. A Seminole (3-1, 1-0) double steal scored the Warhawks' only run as Kristi Belvedere crossed the plate following an error on the throw home.

Davis walked the next two to load the bases but escaped further damage by getting Emily Crawford to fly out to deep centerfield. The right-hander settled down over the final four innings and gave up just two singles the rest of the way, working a 1-2-3 sixth and seventh inning to close out the victory.

Meanwhile, East Lake's offense had similar struggles against Seminole starter Crawford (1-1), but managed just enough firepower for the win. Consecutive two-out errors brought home the Eagles' (3-4, 0-2) first run in the first inning.

Freshman shortstop Alyssa Weaver provided the winning hit, a standup triple with two outs in the fourth inning that scored Alicia Welsh.

"They made the plays, and we didn't," Seminole coach Mark DeRuzzo said. "You can't beat good teams when you only score one run."

East Lake 2 Seminole 1