Reed strikes out nine in Central softball’s 8-0 shutout win over Bulldogs

GEORGETOWN – It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but senior starting pitcher Kaisey Reed got the job done in the pouring rain Tuesday, April 24 to preserve Sussex Central High’s 8-0 shutout win over Laurel High.

The shutout extends Central’s win streak to six games and puts the Lady Golden Knights in good position with a season record of 8-2 heading into Wednesday afternoon’s 4 p.m. road showdown at Middletown High.

“It definitely was not my best game, it was really tough out there. It was hard to get a grip on the ball. Honestly, I don’t know how I did it because it was bad,” Reed said of the playing conditions towards the end of the game.

Senior Kaisey Reed earned the win for the Lady Golden Knights (8-2) Tuesday night (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

Reed and her teammates battled the rainy and windy conditions to solidify the victory. In her seven innings of work, she escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning, worked a 1-2-3 sixth and stranded a runner on third base in the top of the seventh to clinch the win.

“It was good pitching, it was good defense. With the situation she was in and the weather, I thought she pitched awesome,” Central head coach John Wells said of Reed’s performance. “She’s tough, I can’t say enough about what she did in the off-season to get us to this point. She’s worked hard all year so I’m as happy as anybody else for her.”

At the plate, Central hitters managed just four hits and struck out 14 times to Laurel starting pitcher Nicole Patille but were able to draw 10 walks and take full advantage of a pair of Bulldog errors.

In a 0-0 deadlock through four innings, Central broke the game open in the fifth inning with five runs crossing the plate.

With one out in the inning, Isabella Grebe knocked a single to the outfield and, one batter later, Taylor Evick reached base by drawing a walk.
Morgan Burton would proceed to spark the scoring by driving Grebe in on a RBI single.

With the bases loaded three batters later, Patille hit Kailee Abbott with a pitch and walked Devan Hudson in consecutive at-bats to force a pair of runs in.

Saige Bullock reached base on a Laurel fielding error, scoring Reed and Abbott to put the Knights ahead 5-0.

Senior Kailee Abbott takes a swing in the batter’s box Tuesday night (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

The Knights tacked on three more insurance runs, scored by Evick, Burton and Reed, in the sixth inning by drawing three walks and forcing two more Bulldog errors.

Burton finished 1-for-4 with one RBI, one stolen base and a pair of runs scored; Bella Grebe went 1-for-4 with a run and a stolen base; Reed went 1-for-2 with a double, a run and a pair of walks.

“We’re 8-2 and playing pretty good ball, so I like where we are but we’re going to keep getting better.”

After seeing limited time in the pitcher’s circle behind then-starting pitcher Hayley McCabe last season, Reed has settled into her new position as the team’s full-time starting pitcher this season.

“I knew I had to step up this year because we lost Hayley after last year,” she said. “We have underclassmen pitchers, but [coach] Wells has really been pushing me to work hard this year. Before our first game this season, I hadn’t pitched a full seven innings in two years, so the adjustment was a big one. My arm was sore for the first couple of weeks, but I just knew I wanted to pitch and I wanted to work hard to be our starting pitcher.”

She says her arm now feels great and she’s been excited and “ready to go” each game.

It’s a quick turn-around for Sussex Central, as they head up to Middletown for a 4 p.m. first pitch this afternoon.

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

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