When Andale pitcher Sydnee Eck is on the mound, she not only brings an ability to throw a variety of pitches and stymie batters, she’s downright intimidating.
“It’s more than anyone really knows,” Augusta coach Ray Aguirre said Thursday night. “… For four years she’s started her season against us. We’ve given her good games, played with them, but never beat her. She’s probably one of the best around here by far.”
Behind Eck’s nine strikeouts and three hits allowed, Andale defeated Augusta 11-1 in a six-inning run-rule game to open the season. The second game was suspended due to lightning until today at 5 p.m. with the score tied at 4-4 in the top of the fifth.
“Everything was working pretty good,” Eck said. “(Catcher) Alli (Heimerman) keeps them off-balance for me…. She knows me so well and knows what I like to throw. She does an awesome job back there.”
Eck certainly has a proven track record, having played a key role in the Indians winning the Class 4A title last season – she threw a no-hitter in the title game – and in them winning the 5A title in 2010.
“I would assume, as a batter, I would think they know what her track record is, and it does affect them,” Andale coach Doris Hein said. “But I think she does earn everything she gets out there.”
Eck gave up a first-inning home run to Taylor Williams. Eck shrugged it off, though.
“I kind of laughed because it’s the first game,” she said. “You’ve got to get stuff like that out. I knew I threw it where I shouldn’t have. It was a fastball, just on the outside corner. Stuff like that happens. You have to just let it go.”
The second game appeared to be heading the same way as the first. Andale, facing a 1-0 deficit, loaded the bases on three walks in the first inning. Kelsey Harlow, who, along with Rachel Eck had a first-game homer, knocked in two runs with a double to left.
Augusta answered with three fourth-inning runs, including a two-run homer by designated player Leslie Burkett, off pitcher Molly Hein.
There were several delays due to lightning before the game was finally suspended shortly before 9 p.m. The suspension was frustrating for Aguirre.
“We were finally starting to put the ball in play, doing the little things we needed to do. It’s kind of a bad deal,” he said. “Things were starting to go our way, and what happens?”
Andale 11, Augusta 1
100000—1 3 2Andale321032—11 11 0
W — Eck. L — Dey. HR — Harlow, Andale; R. Eck, Andale; T. Williams, Augusta.