Columbus East softball coach Rusty Brummett thought Kendra Pastrick pressed herself too much early on in the season batting in the one or two spot in the lineup.
For the second game in a row, Brummett slotted Pastrick ninth in the batting order. It paid off in a huge way Tuesday night, as Pastrick blasted a double in the bottom of the fifth inning, driving in two runs to give the Olympians the lead.
Despite the pressure visiting Madison put on the Olympians in the seventh, the host team held on for a 3-1 victory.
“I just had faith in myself,” said Pastrick. “… I got ahead of it a bit, but I held my arms back and swung and got a good hit.”
Brummett knew it was a matter of time before Pastrick broke through.
“She accepted the change really well,” he said. “She didn’t bat an eye and was ready to play and came up big. She is an aggressive runner and a pretty intelligent ball player.”
After going ahead 2-1 on Pastrick’s hit, the Olympians got an insurance run in the sixth inning when Kamryn Cantu delivered an RBI single.
Cantu also singled in the fifth inning to set up the Pastrick double. The duo combined for four of the Olympians’ six hits in the game.
“You have to have confidence and you have to be smart and go for it when it is there,” Cantu said. “You have to be aggressive.”
It was a quick way for the Olympians to get a boost after a tough loss Monday against New Albany.
“I think it was good for us to have the quick turnaround because it did not give us a few days to think about the loss,” Brummett said. “It gave us a chance to think more about the positives we did.”
Brooke Valles had a terrific night on the mound to pick up the victory. Hayley Smalley relieved Valles in the middle of the sixth inning and closed out the game. Valles also added a triple at the plate.
Cassie Claycamp also singled for the Olympians.
Cantu said she hopes the victory will give her team confidence going forward.
“We all really want to turn stuff around and get more wins,” Cantu said. “We all have been working hard in practice, and we are getting in the right mindset.”