Summerfield (33-3) 16, Gobles 0on June 13, 2012 at 11:02 am
By Megan Drabek, firstname.lastname@example.org
BATTLE CREEK — Summerfield coach Robert Taylor has his team on a special diet: peanut butter and Nutella apple sandwiches.
He claims that this protein-enriched diet gives his players solid energy; it seems like Taylor has discovered a new recipe of success.
“I don’t know if this diet has anything to do with it, but it seems to be working,” said Taylor. He said his team has been eating this snack on game days for the past four games.
The combination of Taylor’s special recipe and the 18 hits Summerfield posted helped the Bulldogs breeze past Gobles 16-0 in the Division 4 quarterfinals and earn a seat in the state semifinals Friday for the third year in a row.
“The girls stayed really disciplined at the plate today,” said Taylor.
The Bulldogs were not messing around. They scored five runs in the first inning off of seven hits. Brittni Collins had a solid hit to bring in the first run, and Taylor Goodin followed with a triple for two more.
They scored four more in the second inning, bringing it to 9-0 going into the third inning.
Gobles didn’t have a chance. In fact, the only chance they had was when their No. 7 hitter almost circled the on an error off a bunt in the third inning. But the Bulldogs didn’t let it happen — she was thrown out at home plate, preventing the run.
Emily Puterbaugh was flawless in the circle striking out five and allowing only one hit. She also went 2-for-3 at the plate.
“We played really good and very disciplined,” said Puterbaugh. “We just came out and shut them down.”
Puterbaugh noted that once again, her team didn’t know much about the opponent.
“We had to go into the game like they are an All-American team,” she said.
Summerfield racked up the rest of its runs in the fourth inning. Puterbaugh led off with a double and her younger sister, Leah Puterbaugh backed her up with a single. Hayley Wahl got on base on a dropped third strike.
Olivia Ostrosky brought courtesy runner Julia Ostroskey in for a run, Shelby Bruckner earned a base on a walk, and Collins hit a double for with two RBI.
Leading 14-0, Goodin stepped up to bat and popped an over-the-fence home run, bringing the score 16-0 and putting the mercy rule into effect.
According to Taylor, Goodin has been the lead hitter all season; batting over .500, she serves as the catalyst of the team.
“I was just focusing on making solid contact with the ball,” said Goodin. “The pitcher had good speed but it was just fast balls and not a lot of movement.”
“We picked a good time to peak,” she added.
Sydney Spalding and Kysha LaMonde also contributed to the win. Leah Puterbaugh said that a big part of their success is team spirit.
Leah is only a sophomore, and has had the pleasure of playing with her older sister for two years.
“I love playing with Emily. She is always relying on me,” she said. “It’s going to be a lot harder playing without her next year. She is such a vital part of our defense.”
Summerfield, now 33-3, plays at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals against Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart (31-7).
If the Bulldogs win they will play in the finals at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
“Everyone is picking us to win. We have been No. 1 since the beginning of the season,” said Taylor. “But I don’t really like that. Two more games hopefully.”
Taylor added that on Friday, his team has to come out with the exact focus and intensity as Tuesday. The peanut butter and Nutella apple sandwiches will be riding along, too.