EAST LAKE — It isn't so much that Makayla Powers, the second baseman nonpareil, made spectacular plays on sure base hits. It was more that she ambushed the ball.
There was a smash that seemed headed into centerfield when the East Lake senior stuck out her glove to record an out. She snared other line drives that were about to be embedded in her forehead. She also scooped up grounders with ease before whipping it to first.
Powers' fielding exploits were on display Thursday against Seminole, so much that she was involved in 10 outs. That helped sophomore Gabby Orito record her first no-hitter in a 3-1 win.
"I always tell Gabby that I've got her back," Powers said. "I've never had a game where I've had so many balls hit to me before. I just tried to make plays to pick up my teammates."
In the first inning, the Eagles had their only defensive miscue when leadoff batter Brooke Ours reached on a throwing error that moved her second. Ours advanced to third on groundout by Brianna Hartman and scored on a groundout by Lauren Bruckner to put the Warhawks (10-7) ahead.
After that, Orito started mowing down batters, retiring 19 straight before allowing a walk in the seventh inning. Orito had just two strikeouts but had a no-hitter and nearly a perfect game thanks to some stellar defense.
"I really had no idea I had a no-hitter going until my coaches told me after the game," Orito said.
"I love having my defense behind me. They make so many plays for me."
East Lake (16-6) got the runs it needed in the third inning. Peyton Collins led off with a walk, stole second and came home on a single by Powers. Two batters later, Powers scored the winning run on a throwing error after Sarah Schutz singled.
The Eagles added an insurance run in the fifth inning when Schutz doubled, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch.
The win was East Lake's second straight after dropping its previous three.
"Gabby threw great, probably the best she's thrown all year," East Lake coach Mike Estes said. "And Makayla made some amazing plays in the field. She's been doing that all year. It was a big win for us."