Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

May 14, 2013

Okaw ends Neoga's season

NEOGA - On May 7, Neoga scored 10 runs in the first inning and cruised to a 12-2 victory over Okaw Valley.

What a difference a week makes.

That, and the strong arm of the Lady Timberwolves’ Amanda McClain.

The Lady Indians (8-14-1) could get no offense going in round two between the two foes during the opening round of the Windsor tournament, falling 7-1 to Okaw Valley to bring their season to a close.

“They had their best pitcher out there,” Neoga coach Clay Haurberg said. “That girl can throw hard, and we didn’t jump on it, try to get out in front. She threw a lot of first pitch strikes.”

Neoga was held hitless until the sixth, when an RBI single from Kristin Albin finally broke through McClain’s mastery on the mound. Kieran Effner reached first on balls in the first at-bat of the inning, and advanced to third off a stolen base and a wild pitch, setting the stage for Albin’s big shot.

“We didn’t take our hacks at it until later in the game,” Haurberg said. “If she gets ahead of you, she’s got enough mustard that she can play around with you a little bit. We knew coming in she was going to be the pivotal player.”

The Lady Indians finished with the sole run off Albin’s RBI, and two total hits on the afternoon. But by the time Neoga was able to bring home its first tally, Okaw Valley was already playing in front.

Haurberg’s worst fear came true early, when McClain was able to immediately pitch with the lead as Okaw Valley plated two in the top half of the first inning.

“It set the table for them to dominate with their pitching,” Haurberg said. “You get down 2-0 right away, I said to my assistant coach, ‘This is not the way you want to start with McClain on the hill.’”

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