Softball: Brooklyn Blackmon endures 1-0 pitchers’ duel versus Tribe

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Exeter wins second game in a row heading into full week of games
By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
EXETER – It was a pitchers’ duel that almost lasted two complete games, but when it was over Exeter’s Brooklyn Blackmon and the Monarchs who were victorious 1-0 over the Tulare Union Tribe.
“We stayed in that game, and Brook threw hard for the entire time,” Exeter head coach Karen Zeibak said.
It was a battle of up and coming sophomore talent as Blackman led the Monarchs (10-5, 2-3) against the Tribes’ (7-5-2, 2-2) Mia Reynolds. Both threw complete games, a combined 26 innings, as neither blinked.
It was uncharted territory for Blackman pitching so many innings in a single game, but she maintained control over the location of her pitches which kept the Tribe batters guessing. She only gave up three hits on her way to striking out 13 batters. Not even a hard-hit ground back which ricocheted off her right foot could have distracted her.
“Mia is a great pitcher, and she works really hard, so it feels good to come out on top,” Blackmon said.
In the top of the seventh inning the Tribe was threating with a runner on second with only one out. Instead of folding Blackmon struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
“She is tough,” Zeibak. “She has been working out for quite some time.”
Exeter’s defense did their part as well by not committing an error in the game.
Yet, no matter how good the defense or pitching was the deciding factor came down to one mistake by the Tribe. Exeter’s Corinne Acosta stood on second with one out when one of Reynolds’ breaking pitches got away from the Tribe’s catcher, rolling to the backstop. Acosta was easily able to take third on the passed ball.
Acosta was only the second base runner to reach third in the game both were for Exeter. Then Kate Coulter came up to bat after Allison Paregien walked, Zeibak was determined to not let this chance get away.
Zeibak immediately gave Coulter the bunt signal with Exeter’s fastest player 60 feet away. Coulter executed the plan to perfection, and brought Acosta home.
This was Exeter’s second straight win after losing their last three. On Saturday, Exeter got their biggest win of the season by defeating Division I Monache 8-7. Blackmon pitched a complete game in that outing striking out seven in seven innings.
“We felt like we could have finished it in five innings,” Zeibak said. “We just left runners on, and made some baserunning mistakes.”
Exeter returned to Central Sequoia League play last night at home against the Immanuel Eagles. Results were reached after press time. Tomorrow, Exeter makes the short drive to Visalia to take on the Central Valley Christian Cavaliers at 4 p.m. Then on Saturday, Exeter will play in the opening rounds of the Tulare Tournament against the Mt. Whitney Pioneers at 8 a.m. and the Madera South Stallions at 10 a.m.
It is possible that Blackmon could see significant, or all the playing time in all four games. That will depend on how many runs Exeter scores and if they will bring in pitcher Haylee McFall in relief.