The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

High School Sports

May 21, 2013

Cowan bounces Broncos in Class A opener

ANDERSON, Ind. — For the last three years, Cowan and Daleville have ended their regular seasons with a doubleheader against each other and then have drawn each other as opponents in the IHSAA softball sectional No. 55 opener.

Cowan head coach Jeff Berger was determined to give the Broncos a different look this time, though. He held his senior ace Shelby Wilcoxon out of both games of last Saturday’s doubleheader — neither of which would have changed either team’s order of finish in the Mid-Eastern Conference — and Daleville swept Cowan 6-2 and 9-0.

“We didn’t throw Shelby in either one of those games; we saved her,” said Berger.

The strategy paid off as the Blackhawks got a strong pitching performance from Wilcoxon and a two-run homer from Allie McCreery on their way to a 6-1 win over Daleville on Tuesday night at Liberty Christian School.

“I tried to change my speeds as much as possible,” Wilcoxon said. “Even if it’s just fastballs, I’ll try to let up a little bit or slow down a little more and that usually works pretty well for me.”

It did Tuesday night. Wilcoxon allowed just three hits and struck out eight.

“We didn’t hit,” said Daleville coach Dick Hines. “We didn’t even put the ball in play very well.”

The Blackhawks pecked away at the Broncos on offense, taking advantage of some careless fielding and off-target throws to score a single run in each of the first three innings.

“We didn’t execute very well. We had four errors,” said Hines. “We didn’t cover the bunts very well, and that really hurt us.”

Daleville kept it close, though, thanks to a game pitching performance from senior Jamie Roberts and a first-inning run when leadoff batter Brynn Gooding reached on an error, went to second on a bunt and came around to score on a single by Jordyn Marshel.

Trailing 3-1 in the fifth, Roberts gave up a long double to Mallory Bruner, followed by McCreery’s home run, which effectively put the game out of reach.

“Offensively we were bad. Defensively we were bad. Pitching we weren’t sharp,” Hines said, with a rueful laugh.

Cowan will play in the second semifinal against Liberty Christian tonight, after the Wes-Del and Southern Wells game.

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