BY CHAD DARE
A positive mental attitude and a little extra practice is all it took for Danville’s Jordan Ogle.
The senior catcher, who has admittedly been in a little slump, had a pair of two-out run-scoring hits as the Vikings defeated the Champaign Centennial Chargers 5-4 in a Big 12 Conference softball game at WinterView Park.
“Today felt great because I got three hits and we were able to beat Centennial after losing to them twice already this year,’’ Ogle said. “And, it was especially a big win after beating Urbana on Tuesday.’’
Danville has won back-to-back conference games for the first time this year and the Vikings are now 6-12 overall and 3-3 in the Big 12.
Centennial, which falls to 8-16 overall and 4-3 in the league, had beaten Danville 13-6 and 4-0 earlier this season.
“I thought we played pretty well the last time (losing 4-0),’’ Danville coach Brittni Moorehead said. “But, it’s definitely nice to get this one on our side.’’
And a big reason for the victory was two-out RBIs for the Vikings.
Winning pitcher Mackenzie King broke a 1-1 tie with her two-out, two-run double down the left-field line.
“We’ve been working a lot of hitting lately and we focused on staying positive, no matter what the situation is on the field,’’ Moorehead said of her team delivering in those key situations.
Ogle, who started the three-run third with a double to right, got a two-out, run-scoring triple to right in the fourth and she added another key hit in the sixth with a two-out RBI double to center.
“I’ve been working on my hitting. I feel like I’ve struggled a little bit this year,’’ she said. “My hits were great today. I’ve been working on following through better on my swing.’’
Her coach took notice of her senior spending that extra time on her game.
“Jordan is a smart player,’’ Moorehead said. “She knows how to adjust and fix her mistaskes.
“She’s been a lot more positive lately and she has really been working on her hitting. I think that has helped her a lot.’’
And her softball knowledge was a big factor in all three of her hits.
“I was waiting for the outside pitch, so that I could take it to right field,’’ Ogle said of her third-inning double and fourth-inning triple. “I noticed a couple innings earlier that their right fielder (Kaity Wyss) was playing shallow. She was trying to take away those short hits into right.’’
And Ogle’s hit in the sixth, giving the Vikings a 5-2 lead, proved to be the difference as the Chargers scored twice after loaded the bases with no outs.
“We were under pressure in that inning,’’ Ogle said. “Coach Moorhead told us to relax and that’s we did to those final three outs.’’
King got Centennial’s Kristen Leuck to ground out to second baseman Jeanette Cullum to end the game with the tying run on third base.
“Mackenzie threw really well and Jordan was there calling the shots,’’ Moorehead said. “Those two worked really well together.’’
The Decatur MacArthur Generals are next up for the Danville Vikings on Saturday. The Big 12 Conference game will begin at 9 a.m. in Decatur.