SEB got another star performance from their ace Madison Fields as she struck out 12 batters in a 5-1 win over Islands High School.
In four starts this year, Fields has 42 strikeouts in just 20 innings of work. It’s simply a level of dominance you just don’t see very often on the high school level, and she’s making SEB softball a much-watch event in Bulloch County.
“She sure does make life a lot easier for me,” said head coach Amy Civalier. “I get to worry about the little things because of her. Pitching isn’t a concern.”
Fields started off the game by striking out the side in the first inning, two on swinging strikes. She’d follow the next inning with striking out two more hitters, with the third flying out to second. Only three runners reached base going into the seventh inning, all by errors from third base.
“My expectations were higher for this game, even though we won,” Civalier said. “ I see us continuing to make small mistakes that we shouldn’t at this point in the season.”
By the last frame SEB held a comfortable 5-0 lead, and Fields still had her no hitter intact. Island’s Jennifer Freeman stepped to the plate, and on the first pitch she saw from the dominant Fields ripped a single to centerfield -- abruptly ending the no-no by the senior.
Fields, who looked invincible for the first six innings, then started to show some minor cracks in her armor. The next batter she faced saw a wild pitch to advance Freeman to second, then a hard hit ball to shortstop forced a fielder’s choice allowing Freeman to advance to third with one out.
“I always had control of the game,” Fields said. “Sometimes a pitch of two will get away from you. You can’t be perfect all the time.”
The following at-bat on a 1-2 count, Fields threw a ball low at the catcher that got under the glove and behind the backstop -- allowing Freeman to score to first run of the game for Islands. The next pitch hit the batter allowing another baserunner, only extending the inning-gone-wrong for Fields.
Finally, back-to-back ground balls ended the inning and game for good, giving Fields a 3-1 record on the season. In all, she pitched all seven innings allowing just one hit, no walks, 12 strikeouts and one run which was unearned. When things aren’t going well for SEB offensively, Civalier can always rest assured Fields will keep her team in games.
“I expect her to pitch like this for the rest of the season,” Civalier said.
SEB got their offense started quickly in the game, scoring their first two runs in the first inning. With one out, Blair Chapman singled and stole second while Mallory Hardy followed with another single to drive Chapman in. Fields, batting cleanup on top of her pitching duties, hit into a ground out but drove in the second run on the out.
In total, SEB finished with nine hits on the night. Chapman led the way with three hits and two runs scored, while Hardy finished with two hits and two runs scored.
“Blair is in the two spot for a reason,” Civalier said. “She’s been a starter for three years now and she knows how to hit.”
SEB (5-1, 5-0) will play again tomorrow when they travel to Garden City to face Groves High School in a doubleheader, with first pitch set for 4:30 p.m.