By Chris Yow
COLUMBIA — Journey Mitchell matched Columbia Academy’s run output with strikeouts on Wednesday, as the Lady Bulldogs blanked visiting Division II-A District 3 rival Zion Christian 12-0 behind Mitchell’s 12 K’s.
In the circle, Mitchell was dominant, going the full five innings and giving up just two hits to the Lady Eagles. Coach Seth Anderson was pleased with the Carson-Newman signee’s performance.
“I thought Journey did a great job getting ahead in the count,” he said. “When you pitch from ahead, it makes life easier for a pitcher. She threw a lot of strikes.”
Coming off a 4-3 win Tuesday over Middle Tennessee Christian, Anderson took note of Zion’s narrow 8-5 loss to those same Cougars on Monday.
“We knew they’re a much-improved team and they would be a tough game for us,” Anderson said.
In the first inning, Zion Christian gifted the Lady Bulldogs both runs, as a two-out error on a ball hit back up the middle allowed Columbia Academy a run, and a Chloe Carter single brought home another.
The Lady Eagles had three errors on the day, something coach Russ Adcox knows will need to be addressed with his team.
“I told them we are taking some lumps early,” he said. “You either win or you learn, and we learned a lot today.
“Against a team like CA, you can’t give them any runs — they’re going to beat you.”
The Lady Bulldogs broke the game open in the second inning with a five-run output, highlighted by a Myleah Hardy home run that seemed as if it just hung in the air long enough to find the other side of the outfield wall.
Another five-run inning in the third was due mostly to small ball base hits and scoring on them. Carter was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate and Tori Duval was 3-for-4, while Hardy, Karli Quillen and Karley Harakas each had a pair of hits in the game.
“Our whole style of play is to put pressure on the other team,” Anderson said. “If we put the ball in play and make them make a play, good things happen.”
For Zion Christian, Kendall Danorovich took the loss in the circle. She went 2 1/3 innings, giving up 15 hits and nine earned runs. Adcox eventually went to freshman Ashleia Coble in relief, who finished the game by striking out three of the six hitters she faced.
Mitchell got the win, and Adcox was pleased with how his team adjusted to her throughout the game.
“Journey is the best pitcher we’ve faced so far,” he said. “We didn’t make any changes or sub because I wanted our girls to see that kind of pitching because that’s what we will face all year in district.”