In just her second career start, Athens Drive freshman pitcher Bianca Van Dyk puzzled Gibbons batters as she pitched a seven-inning complete game in the Jaguars’ 5-2 win over the Crusaders Wednesday afternoon.
Despite walking three batters in the first inning, Van Dyk got out of an early bases-loaded jam and didn’t allow a run to cross home plate until the fifth inning.
“(Van Dyk) was very determined. This was her first complete game. It’s actually the first complete game we’ve had a pitcher pitch in a game this year because we have been doing a lot of pitching-by-committee. She battled. She gave our defense a chance and she was very solid in pressure situations,” Athens Drive head coach Breanna Tapp said.
Athens Drive (2-1) scored in the first inning when freshman Melanie Darges made it home following a pickoff attempt from Gibbons (0-3) sophomore catcher Kassidy Wood that went past sophomore first baseman Mia Brosius into right field.
Later on in the inning, Athens Drive had a runner on each base with no outs but Gibbons sophomore pitcher Joelle Devita escaped the inning without any more damage after junior third baseman Jenna Hiscock lined into a double play that preceded a groundout by Van Dyk.
“It always seems like it’s the bases loaded situations when you’re not able to score runs. You have to give (Gibbons) credit, too. They made the plays defensively,” Tapp said.
Athens Drive added to its lead in the third inning when senior catcher Olivia Baratta’s double scored senior second baseman Tracie Miner.
Athens freshman leftfielder Carleigh Hiscock doubled the Jaguars’ lead to four runs in the top of the fifth inning with a two-RBI double off Gibbons sophomore starting pitcher Joelle Devita that scored senior pinch runner Sandra Danskin and Jenna Hiscock.
The two Hiscock sisters were very productive at the plate as they reached base a combined five times.
“They’re great. They hit the ball hard and they battled. They both had really solid at bats the whole game,” said Tapp.
Trailing 4-0 heading to the bottom of the fifth inning, Gibbons was finally able to find some success with the bat against Van Dyk as Brosius singled in sophomore shortstop Elizabeth Pedersen and Wood.
Athens Drive added one more run in the top of the seventh inning on a single by Jenna Hiscock, but Van Dyk had one last jam to get out of once Gibbons loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning.
After retiring the first two batters she faced, the next three Gibbons hitters reached base before Van Dyk induced a pop-out by Gibbons junior right fielder Sydney Cavallaro to end the game.
Despite the loss for Gibbons, one bright spot for the Crusaders was Pedersen.
The sophomore shortstop went 3-for-3 at the plate with a walk and was perfect in the field.
“She’s one of those players who you love to have. She’s very versatile. She can bunt and she can hit. She keeps the defense on her toes and they just never know what she’s going to do,” said first-year Gibbons head coach Veronica Wootson-Ross.