Home Runs Power Lincoln To Final Four

Johnie J. Logue
Enterprise Staff
On a windy, cold, overcast Thursday  evening, Lincoln would defeat Wellington - Napoleon at home 7-1 in the sectionals to move on to the final four.
Coach Chris Sanders commented, “We thought going in that this would be a 2-1 game.”
The game was scoreless going into the bottom of the fourth when Genesis Smith, a good hitter at the bottom of the order, would draw the biggest walk of her career.
That would load the bases with two outs bringing up to bat the hottest hitter in recent days in Lincoln’s lineup. The walk by Smith followed two outs and  a walk by Aleah Paxton and a single by Lyndsey Koll. Jordan Young pinched ran as the courtesy runner for the pitcher.
Sophomore Cadyn Paxton would then  bomb a shot over the left center field fence for a grand slam.
Paxton, who was moved into the lead off spot a few games back, said “I like batting lead off because I can tell my teammates what kind of pitches to look for.”
As far as the home run goes, she commented,          “I was just trying to make contact and hit the ball hard somewhere.”
Lincoln wasn’t finished as Jenna Vandaveer would double, Haley Elebing walked and Haley Mackey would hit her first home of the year in about the same spot with two on to make the score 7-0.
Napoleon would score their only run in the fifth on a fielder’s choice.
The defensive play of the game would come in the third when left fielder Chloe Reese would throw out A. Williamson at the plate after a single to shallow left field.
Catcher Haley Mackey made the tag on the sliding Williamson.
Aleah Paxton would walk the first batter of the game, who would steal both second and third. Paxton got out of the inning on a ground ball to shortstop Jenna Vandaveer.
Vandaveer would have quite a day as she caught a high pop up that the wind played with and later ended up on her head trying to steal second base.
Asked about preparation for playing a team they had split two games with, Sanders said “We worked on defending against their slap hitters.”
Aleah took care of the rest, as she struck out six, walked one and hit one.
While being told not to worry about the runner on third in the seventh, Mackey instinctively picked her off anyway for the second out. A ground ball to Alexis Harms at second ended the game.
Sanders commented, “Mackey is a good catcher and she was at a different advantage point than I was.”
Lincoln made one error as Napeoleon was perfect from the field.
Lincoln 24-2 will play Potosi 20-1 at 7 PM Friday, May 17.