Most coaches hope for production from the eighth and ninth spots in the lineup.
Those spots provided the spark Monday for the Burlington Central softball team.
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Tori Harvey had a three-run triple and Kelly Wiater followed with a double off the wall as the Rockets scored 5 runs in the bottom of the second to help Central to a 7-3 nonconference victory over Elgin.
"I thought when Tori and Kelly hit those balls in the second inning just spoke to the whole team like, 'Holy cow. Here's eight and nine hitting the ball to the fence,' " Central coach Wade Maisto said. "That really kind of turned things in our favor."
The first seven batters in the second reached for the Rockets (3-3). Rebecca Gerke led off with a single. Shelby Young and Kristina Ahlers had back-to-back walks to load the bases. Harvey then tripled to right center, driving in all three runners. Harvey scored on a throwing error on the play to make the score 4-0.
"I knew it was early in the game and we had to get a lot of runs fast," said Harvey, a senior. "I just had to wait back and stay calm. That's what I did and hit it hard."
Wiater then doubled into right center. The freshman scored on Courtni Neubauer's infield single to make it 5-0. The Rockets had runners on second and third with no outs after Neubauer stole second, but were unable to increase the lead on Elgin pitcher Jennah Perryman.
Elgin (1-5) cut the deficit to 5-2 in the top of the third as Anna Eckholm drove in Madison Latham on a groundout to second. Jenna Lombardo scored on an obstruction call at home after the Rockets thought they got out of the inning.
The Rockets added runs in the fourth and sixth innings. Elgin also scored in the sixth.
Emily Kisch (2-1) struck out 14 to earn the complete-game victory for Central. The sophomore allowed 4 hits and walked 3.
Perryman (1-1) struck out 10. The senior struggled to find the strike zone throughout the game and ended up walking 10.
"I think Jennah will be fine," Maroons coach Dr. Nick Bumbales said. "Everybody's working through things. It's only her second game. She'll work through it. She always does."