Anthony Wayne junior pitcher Dani Haley fanned 16 Springfield batters, including striking out the side three times, to lead the Generals to a 6-0 victory Monday.
Haley allowed only two hits as Anthony Wayne (18-3) took over sole possession of first place in the Northern Lakes League (9-1) with a crucial road win. Springfield (19-2, 8-2) fell for the second time to AW.
The defending league champion Generals jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on three doubles. Haley then struck out the side in the bottom of the inning.
"When we came in here you could feel the tension," Haley said. "We wanted to get out there. When we got those two runs it was just all smiles in our dugout. Springfield is a very tough team. I have to give my team what they gave me and that's 110 percent."
Springfield senior Lindsey Bandeen had both of her team's hits and both were doubles. She led off the second with a double. But Haley struck out the next three Devils. Haley (9-1) also fanned three straight in the fourth and sixth innings. And she struck out the game's final two batters.
"She changed speeds very well and had good movement on the rise ball," AW coach Mark Hamann said. "Springfield is an aggressive club offensively and I think that worked to Danielle's advantage. There weren't a lot of rise balls out of the strike zone. The ball moved enough to elude the batters. Doing it against a team like them is impressive."
"She's fantastic. She's done it to us twice," Springfield coach Rob Gwozdz said. "It wasn't a fluke. When they struck first, they put the pressure on us. All three kids struck out and it was like 'Uh, oh.' We knew we were in for a dogfight."
Sarah Bores, who doubled, scored on Emily Kurfis' double to make it
1-0. Melissa Sigg then doubled in Kurfis for the early
2-0 edge. The Generals added another in the second and Kelly Hensley singled in Sigg in the third for a
4-0 lead. AW tacked on two insurance runs in the fifth when Jen Marzec singled in Haley and Sigg.
Springfield starter Ashlyn Michalak came into the game with a 16-1 record, but yielded eight hits. The Blue Devils now must play Perrysburg, the only team to defeat AW in league play, in back-to-back games Thursday and Friday.
Haley struck out 13 Devils in a 1-0 early-season win.
"I throw my rise ball more than anything else and it just has a spin on it," Haley said.
The Generals take on a solid Clay club in a sectional final today. They still have four NLL games against Perrysburg, Southview, Northview and Bowling Green.
"We're not in the driver's seat," Hamann said. "This is a 14-game schedule. It is a marathon. You have to play every single day as if it was for the league and if you don't, you will lose."
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