By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
DANVILLE -- With a four-run lead in hand, Milton pitcher Taylor Batman stood inside the circle as Danville runners surrounded her on the bases in the bottom of the sixth inning. A single, an error and a walk filled them with one out, and the Lady Ironmen were determined to swing some momentum.
The pressure of the situation would stress out some pitchers, but Batman simply did what she's used to doing.
The junior struck out consecutive batters to get the Black Panthers out of the inning by stranding three runners, and Milton increased its lead for a 7-1 HAC-I win Tuesday.
"It was very stressful but I knew I had a good defense and I knew they'd be behind me backing me up," Batman said of the bases-loaded jam.
Milton (8-1, 8-1 HAC-I) also got out of a bases-loaded spot in the fourth inning. Lesley Fritz hit a grounder to third baseman Mary Adams, who tagged the runner and also got the force at third for a quick double play. A walk loaded the bases again before a groundout to second ended the inning.
"Milton's a tough team. They're going to keep battling you and they did all the things you need to do to win a game," Danville coach Dwayne Heeter said. "They made the plays, timely hits, timely defense, and we didn't."
Milton's Dani Lincoln came through with an RBI-double to the fence in left that allowed Mackenna Miller to break a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth.
The Black Panthers offense then came alive in the final two innings. Linea Brouse hit a shallow single before Bethany Brennan reached safely on an error. Katelyn Gensel hit a shot into left that was misplayed and drove in a run in before Batman came through with a clutch double to right field to knock in two more for a 4-0 lead.