By Michael Rich
The Buckeye Valley softball team used a five-run second to back a 15-strikeout performance by senior pitcher Kasey Morris and beat visiting Pleasant 12-7 in MOAC-Red action Monday in Delaware.
Seven different Barons (9-4, 4-3) reached base multiple times, including Morris, Olivia Schick, Logan Hatcher and Lisa Leienberger — who had two hits apiece.
“There’s nothing better as a pitcher than getting offensive support,” Morris said.
Morris drove in three runs and Hatcher and Leienberger each drove in a pair as BV secured its first win over Pleasant since it joined the Red Division.
“I don’t know why they give us so much trouble,” Morris said. “It feels so good to rise above it.”
Leienberger tied it with a one-out bloop single to center in the second and Morris drove in two more with a two-out single to give the Barons the lead.
“(Morris) is the pinnacle of our team — she comes out fighting every time,” Buckeye Valley coach Christine Crooks said.
Logan Hatcher plated two more with a line drive single to right to extend the lead to 6-2.
“We didn’t know what (Pleasant) was going to bring, but we knew that we wanted to jump out early,” Crooks said.
Makenna Waddle paced the Pleasant offense with three hits, including a two-run single in the third inning to pull the Spartans back within two runs. She drove in three runs overall.
But, the Barons responded with a three-run third that included a RBI double by Leienberger and a RBI single by Schuck.
Morris, who is headed off to Otterbein next year, allowed seven runs (four earned) in the circle on eight hits and four walks, but she struck out 15 batters.
“It glorifies the amount of work that you put in,” Morris said about her 15 strikeouts. “It makes you feel a lot better that the time that you spent actually counts.”
Grace Davis gave the Spartans an early lead with a two-run homer down the left-field line in the first inning.
“She brought our team together (in the circle) when we were down by one,” Crooks said. “It’s important that somebody takes charge out there and I think she’s really starting to take charge out there … I’m really proud of that.”
Waddle took the loss for the Spartans (7-8, 2-7) in the circle. She allowed nine runs (four earned) on 10 hits and a walk over three innings. Kynna Byrne gave up three runs (one earned) on three walks and a hit with four strikeouts over the final three innings.
Next up, BV continues league play today when it hosts Fairbanks at 5:15 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.