Lady Cyclones McDuffie throws a no-hitter to shut out Union
Published 10:45 am Monday, April 17, 2023
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By Ron Marvel
Lilly McDuffie was tough off the mound, beating the Union Bear 11-0; as strong as McDuffie was on the mound, she was aided by a determined Cyclones defense that, at times, made the dazzling look simple. The first inning saw McDuffie get a couple of infield pop-up outs and then Mollie Johnson made a nice play at short, snagging a line drive to end the inning. The Lady Cyclones would get on the board first; Maley Ingram would shoot a grounder up the middle that would find grass and then be moved to third by an Emma O’Quinn single and a sac bunt by Ember Jensen. Lela Byrd, who was determined to have herself a day, shot a line drive single to left field to give her team an early 1-0 lead.
McDuffie who did well all day keeping the ball down in the zone, got the Bears to go quietly in the top of the second. The Lady Cyclones would then put a seven spot on the scoreboard in their share of the inning. Cheyenne Poiroux would get things going with a base hit, followed by freshmen Sadie Williams drawing a walk and Hannah Morgan shooting a line drive over the shortstop to load the bases. The RBIs would then start as Ingram, O’Quinn and Ember Jensen would all get base hits to make the new score 4-0. Byrd would hit a home run to center to bring in three more to make it 7-0; Johnson and Poiroux would hit back to back to doubles to tack one more on the board. The damage was done and the Lady Cyclones would cruise the rest of the way.
McDuffie not only pitched a strong game but she defended the mound well, making several nice plays on balls hit back to her; Poiroux may have saved the no-hitter when she raced a long way to prevent a blooper from falling in shallow center in the middle innings and O’Quinn raced back to snare a pop fly that kept going in the fourth. Williams would put an exclamation point on the game in the fifth when she hit a bomb to left scoring Johnson and Poiroux to give the final score of 11-0.
McDuffie’s line on the no-hitter was five innings pitched with two strikeouts. She was very efficient, throwing just 46 pitches, 38 for strikes. Lela Byrd went 3 for 3 with 4 RBIs, and O’Quinn, Johnson, and Poiroux all had multiple hits in the contest. Post-game, Lady Cyclones Head Coach Kenny Hardin gave McDuffie her due, “she was in control today; we had planned on throwing several pitchers today but she kept putting 0’s on the board; Byrd caught a good game today.” The Lady Cyclones will travel to play conference foe Sullivan East on Tuesday.