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In Gigi Wall’s night off the mound, Marlow High School softball might have just found its secret weapon.
Everyday thirdbaseman Shelby Elroy took over for Wall and did not disappoint, suffocating Duncan’s hitters in an 11-4 road win. Elroy’s complete game performance featured just one earned run during her third trip to the mound all season.
“I really haven’t been pitching a lot lately, but it’s an honor to pitch in a varsity game,” Elroy said after the game Tuesday night. “We’ve been working really hard and I’ve been working really hard. To beat them, it’s the best thing ever.”
Both teams move on to regionals and, given that it wasn’t a district game, the result really didn’t impact anything going forward. Just don’t tell the Outlaws that. Coach Brian Miller is fired up about the win versus the Stephens County rival.
“We love to play Duncan, because it’s going to be a good game,” Miller said.
Miller didn’t hesitate to mention that the team is looking to Thursday when it will play its first postseason game. While Wall will most likely get the start, Elroy’s dominant performance will give him some choices to make.
“This girl has all the potentialin the world, and hopefully this will get her more motivated,” Miller said. “She showed tonight a little bit of what she can do.”
Baserunning played an integral part in the victory. Marlow’s ability to capitalize on Duncan’s mishandling in the field caused a break-out four run third inning. When there were opportunities the visiting team was rutheless on the basepath, andtheir speed left the Demons with little margin for error.
“At this point in the year, you have got to have that,” Miller said. “You’ve got to play that way.”
Duncan coach Robert Cowan was quick to acknowledge the strong performance by Elroy and company but added his disappointment in the energy of his own team. He said the focus wasn’t there for Duncan and the long senior night ceremony before the game might have played into that.
“We’ve haven’t give up 11 runs all year,” Cowan said. “I’m disappointed, but I’ve been doing this long enough that sometimes on senior night not to expect too much. You can’t get them focused. They can’t get their mind back on the game.”