EDINBURGH — On a chilly afternoon where warmth was at a premium and solid contact was even more so, the hottest spot at the Edinburgh softball diamond was on the pitching mound.
Both pitchers took advantage of a generous strike zone and difficult hitting conditions to dominate the game. It was Columbus East, however, that was able to scratch out a run to escape with a 1-0 victory at Edinburgh.
The Olympians’ Jordan Johnston was stellar, pitching a complete game one-hitter and striking out eight. After allowing a single to the Lancers’ Maddi Clark in the bottom of the first inning, Johnston, with the help of a solid defense behind her, retired the next 20 batters in a row to get the victory.
Story continues below gallery
“Jordan is not a pitcher who is going to throw 63 or 65 miles per hour and blow the ball by you,” East coach Rusty Brummett said. “She has to move the ball around and hit her spots, and tonight, she did that very well.”
Johnston struck out only two batters through the first four innings, relying on her defense to make plays. They were up to the task, making every place necessary to keep Edinburgh (2-2) off the board. Although the Lancers put the ball in play, they could not find a hole.
“I thought we made more solid contact than they did tonight, actually,” Edinburgh coach Stephen Clark said. “We just hit it at them and didn’t catch any breaks.”
Maddi Clark was just as dominant from the circle in her own right. She pitched a complete game, allowing only one run on five hits and striking out 11. She struck out nine of the first 11 Olympians she faced.
“Madisyn is a smart pitcher,” Stephen Clark said. “If she is getting calls, she is going to stretch the zone as far as she is able. They were very aggressive tonight swinging the bat, and she is smart enough to take advantage of that.”
It was not until the sixth inning that East was able to plate its lone run. A single up the middle by leadoff hitter Madyson Foster started the inning. Johnston helped her own cause by bunting Foster to second.
Foster then stole third, and Kendra Pastrick then laid down a perfect squeeze bunt past the charging Lancers third baseman to score the run.
“We didn’t give anything away there,” Stephen Clark said. “They were able to get a runner on, and we got a little aggressive on the squeeze play and they manufactured a run.”
“We played a good team tonight,” Brummett said. They have a good pitcher, a good coach and made a deep run in the tournament last year. They will probably make some noise again this year.”