Marengo dumps Burlington Central for first time since 2006
Burlington Central fell behind early, then let the game slip away late.
Marengo defeated the Rockets, 6-2, Tuesday in Marengo behind Danielle Simon's 5-hitter in the Big Northern East softball opener.
The win is Marengo's first over five-time defending BN-East champion Burlington since the Indians beat the Rockets 10-6 on May 16, 2006 in the final conference game of the season. It's also the first time fourth-year Marengo coach Dwain Nance has beaten the Rockets.
Kaleigh Velasquez's 2-run triple keyed a 3-run first inning for the Indians (10-2, 1-0).
The Rockets got back in the game in the third. Ashley Scheffler led off with a single and pitcher Jet Kein reached on an error. The runners moved up on a double steal and a wild throw to third allowed Scheffler to score. A second run scored on Haley Albamonte's infield out, but that was all the Rockets could manage offensively.
The Indians added 2 runs in the fifth and 1 in the sixth to put the game out of reach. Meanwhile, Simons (7-2) got stronger as she went on, retiring 11 of the last 13 batters she faced. She wound up striking out 5 while walking just 1.
The Rockets (3-5, 0-1) had some other chances to score but couldn't take advantage. They put 2 runners on with none out after singles by Cassie Warner and Abby Morrow to start the second. But they failed to get a bunt down, and Simons then got 2 called third strikes to get out of the inning.
"We don't do things with runners on base when we get them there," said Central coach Scot Sutherland. "We couldn't get the bunt down on a consistent basis. We're kind of our own worst enemy.
"We can't be sitting there eating strike 3 with runners on base. You don't put that in the umpire's hands. You determine your destiny."
Morrow had 3 of the Rockets' hits. Kein allowed 12 hits, struck out 3 and walked 2.
Reed Karsten and Chloe Montgomery each had 3 of Marengo's 11 hits.
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