Softball: Newsome keeps focus, wins with defense

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Sat. March 12, 2011 | Steve Lee

Softball: Newsome keeps focus, wins with defense

LITHIA — Felecia Heaser’s error could have been costly, but the Newsome centerfielder turned a dropped ball into an 8-2-5 out at third base early in a scoreless game.

The host Wolves went on to defeat Riverview 2-0 in Friday’s Class 5A, District 8 game.

“She’s going to be on ESPN for the bloopers, then for the play of the game,” Newsome coach Dawn Vanella joked.

Heaser, who later in the game robbed Emily Gaitan of a base hit with a head-first diving catch on a sinking line drive, got the ball back into the infield quickly after her miscue and third baseman Nicollette Levine tagged out Tanya Smith as she scampered back to the base.

“We had great defense tonight,” Vanella said. “We could have capitalized more on our hitting, but we had great defense.”

Newsome (6-1-1, 3-1) had just four hits off Gaitan, but that production was enough to back the shutout effort of Bailey Schinella, who pitched a two-hitter and struck out five.

The Wolves took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Jenn Owens walked and later scored on Schinella’s two-out single.

Newsome added an insurance run in the sixth. Schinella drew a walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Ashley Gallops, who advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Ashley Gornto’s RBI single through the right side.

Newsome might have at least doubled its lead, but with the bases loaded and two outs, left fielder Smith made a diving catch near the line on Owens’ line drive.

Riverview (5-6, 3-5) never threatened after Heaser’s fine defensive play in the third. The Sharks were held to singles by Meagan Brislin and Emily Hollman.

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