BISMARCK — Sophomore Phoenix LaCombe got things started, but it was the Bismarck-Henning defense that closed out Wednesday's 7-6 victory over Milford in a Vermilion Valley Conference softball game at Lions Park.
LaCombe, who got the complete-game victory, ignited the Blue Devil offense with a three-run homer in the first inning.
And then she turned things over to her defense, in particular, second baseman Emmie Hawkins, who had four assists and one putout. Hawkins sealed the one-run victory with a a sliding stop in hole and throw to first for the final out of the game with the tying run on base.
"Our defense was mainly good for us,'' said LaCombe, as Bismarck-Henning did commit four errors in the game. "But when we needed it, we were on our toes and we were ready for the ball to be coming to us.''
But, wasn't the sophomore a little worried when Milford's Mindy Garrelts, who took the loss for the Bearcats, smashed a two-run homer to center in the seventh, cutting Bismarck-Henning's lead down to 7-6?
"I really wasn't too worried,'' she said. "I felt that we had it together and we weren't scared of that situation.
"Give her credit, she just got under the pitch and hit it big time.''
After the long home run, Bismarck-Henning shortstop Lindsey Andrews made a fabulous over-the-shoulder catch for the second out of the inning, and then Hawkins made one of her many big defensive plays in the contest.
"I thought Hawkins at second base made three great plays, especially the last play of the game,'' Stephens said. "We had a pickoff play called where she was covering second, but she was still able to get over into the hole on that ground ball.