By Rob Kiser
CASSTOWN — First-year Newton softball coach Mark Gibson saw what he was looking for Wednesday night at Miami East.
Vikings first-year coach Michaela Nenninger is still waiting for her team to get there.
The Indians put together a nearly flawless effort — both at the plate and in the field — in a 12-0 win over the Vikings in five innings.
“We were coming off our first win last night — a walk-off win over National Trail,” Gibson said after the game. “We have been talking about playing as a team — I am always talking about ‘All 15.’ Tonight was as complete a team effort as we have had all season. Everybody contributed, whether it was the hitting, pitching, the courtesy runners and pinch runners — they all did their job. This was a complete effort.”
That is something Nenninger has been preaching to her team as well.
“We are always talking about bonding and playing as a team,” Nenninger said. “I told the girls, ‘when we do that, that is when we are going to be successful.’”
After both teams went down in order in the opening inning, Newton took control with an eight-run second inning, sending 14 batters to the plate.
Kacie Tackett started things with a single and Kylee Fisher followed with a double.
McKell Deaton’s fielder’s choice scored a run, with two more coming in when Mallory Dunlevy reached first and the throw went down the right-field line.
“Our defense and hitting have both been up and down all year,” Nenninger said. “Give Newton credit. They have some girls who can really hit the ball.”
Britney Oburn had a RBI double, and after Madison Mollette was hit by a pitch, Rylee Schauer’s fielder’s choice scored a run.
Haley Pack scored a run with a sacrifice fly, Tackett had a RBI single — her second hit of the inning.
A walk to Kristen Rappold and hit by Fisher loaded the bases. Deaton drew a walk to force in a run an make it 8-0.
In the third, Mollette singled and Schauer reached on a strikeout. A dropped fly ball scored both runners to make it 10-0.
Newton added its final two runs in the fifth.
Mollette started things with a single and Pack and Laura Oaks both had RBI singles.
“We really hit the ball well tonight,” Gibson said.
That was more than enough as Rappold and Dunlevy combined on a one-hitter — an infield single by Alyssa Francis.
Rappold pitched the first three innings, striking out three; while Dunlevy finished the win off with her only strikeout.
“That was great to see, especially from Mallory Dunlevy,” Gibson said.
The Indians also had a number of defensive gems, led by Keaton’s diving catch in center field.
“That was an amazing catch by McKell (Deaton),” Gibson said. “But when you have watched her play like I have — you just sort of expect her to make those kind of plays. She just got back from the Ukraine, and it is great to have McKell out there playing like McKell.”
Megan Pettit pitched the first two innings for East, with Kati Runner hurling the final three.
“Megan (Pettit) didn’t pitch bad,” Nenninger said. “That is a good hitting team. Kati (Runner) came in and really threw well.”
Newton is 2-4 overall and 2-1 in the CCC, while East dropped to 2-5 overall and 2-1 in the CCC.
“Hopefully, this is the kind of game that will get us going,” Gibson said.
And Nenninger knows with continued work, her team will get there as well.
Rob Kiser can be reached at (937) 451-3334.