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It was their first time playing together in 2013, but the Duncan softball team showed no signs of rust in its opener against Elgin Thursday at the annual Duncan Festival.
With strong play in the field and consistent hitting at the plate, the Lady Demons kept the Owls in check from start to finish en route to a 4-1 victory.
“We had girls getting on base, which is a good sign, and another great thing was that we only had one error,” Lady Demons head coach Robert Cowan said. “We had a couple well-hit balls reach the fence. I think putting runs on the board could end up being one of our strong suits.”
It was the Owls who took flight early, gaining a 1-0 lead on an RBI single lined into left field.
Elgin quickly found out that was all Duncan’s senior pitcher Autumn Parker was going to tolerate.
Parker shut the door from that point on, keeping the Owls scoreless from the remainder of the game while notching three strikeouts to earn the win.
In the inning’s bottom half, the Duncan offense gave an immediate response, tying things up at one when freshman Kennedy Stewart scored from third base on a bunt by Sarah McCormick.
While Parker kept the Owls grounded, the Duncan bats kept the pressure on, scoring two more runs in the second inning.
Senior Jenny Rather gave the Lady Demons their first lead with a groundball RBI double down the first base line and senior Kortney Brown added to that advantage by scoring Rather on a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
“I liked how the hitting came around earlier than a lot of us expected,” Brown said. “The second inning helped us a lot and our defense was great today too.”
Duncan later loaded the bases, but the inning concluded when McCormick popped out to the Elgin pitcher with the bases loaded. The team left five runners on base in the first two innings, but it proved to be enough, as Parker clinched the win with a strikeout.
The Lady Demons will return to action today in the final day of the Festival when they face off against Sterling at 11:20 a.m..