East's Mitts tosses two-hit shutout against West

News-DemocratMay 9, 2013 

— When Belleville East pitcher Alison Mitts takes the mound against cross-town rival Belleville West, she has the mindset that the Maroons are the same as any other team.

Mitts threw a two-hit shutout as the Lancers beat the Maroons 3-0 Wednesday in a Southwestern Conference game.

"I don't worry about the names," Mitts said. "I just wipe off the name on the jersey. I know about five players from every school, so I have to let it go."

Mitts struck out seven and walked one.

"I thought Alison was great tonight," East coach Natalie Peters said. "I thought both pitchers threw really well tonight. She got ahead of batters, and she had a lot of different pitches working tonight. She was able to keep their big hitters off balance, and we played pretty solid defense behind her."

The Lancers improved to 24-4 and 8-2 in the SWC, while the Maroons dropped to 10-8 overall and 3-5 in the conference.

Pitcher Rebecca Touchette and leadoff hitter Alliyah St. John both reached on infield singles for the Maroons.

Touchette hit a hard liner off the third baseman's glove in the second inning and St. John hit a hard grounder that deflected off Mitts' leg to the second baseman.

"We got them into scoring position, but we just couldn't score them," West coach Bob Yagge said of getting the leadoff hitter on base in the second, fourth, sixth and seventh innings. "It happens sometimes. Good pitching will shut down good hitting."

Yagge feels like the Maroons are getting better. They fell 8-2 to the Lancers on April 11.

"They're making progress all the time," Yagge said. "They don't see that because it doesn't show up as a 'W,' but they've improved a lot."

As the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds, the two schools will meet again in the first round of the Belleville East Regional.

"They're No. 2, we're No. 3," Yagge said. "How fun is that?"

Leadoff hitter Kayla Fields sparked the Lancers in the first inning when she singled, stole second and third and then scored on a single by Brittany Hodge.

"It definitely gets us going when Kayla gets on in the first inning," Peters said.

Fields has stolen 55 bases this season, breaking the school record of 47 by Adrienne May.

Fields also has scored 41 runs this season.

"Anytime Kayla gets on, we need to get her in, and it's very possible with her speed," Mitts said.

The Lancers added runs in both the third and fourth innings.

Ryley Blomberg singled to left and Fields reached on a bunt single to start the third inning. Hodge bunted the runners to second and third.

Blomberg scored when the center fielder mishandled Mitts' flyball.

The Lancers loaded the bases in the fourth on singles by Haley Gegelman, Amanda Campbell and Blomberg.

Hodge was hit by a pitch to force in a run.

The Lancers stranded nine runners in the game as Touchette was able to limit the damage from eight hits.

"We definitely left too many hitters on base tonight," Peters said. "That's something we talked about in our postgame huddle. I just felt we couldn't get that hit to bust the game open.

"And, we were a little flat tonight, but we got the win. Alison pitched great and that helped our offense out. There have been a lot of nights when our offense has been awesome."

Contact reporter Steve Korte at skorte@bnd.com or 239-2522.

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