Reeds Spring softball

Reeds Spring’s Izzy Erickson slides safely into second base as a Monett infielder applies a late tag in the teams’ matchup Monday.

 

REEDS SPRING — Mackenzie Duvall stuck around for Reeds Spring’s jayvee game Monday and suddenly was asked to handle the Lady Wolves’ first-base coaching duties. 

She happily obliged and found the job to her liking.

“I’ve got news for you,” she said to Reeds Spring coach Scott Walker after the first inning. “I want to coach first base the rest of the game.”

Over her four-year career, Duvall has done whatever has been asked of her. That includes giving up the Lady Wolves’ pitching duties she handled as a freshman and sophomore to make the move to third base as a junior and senior.

Duvall made one last return to the center circle Monday and shut out Monett for the first four innings, before the Lady Cubs broke open a scoreless game and beat Reeds Spring 5-1.

“Nothing ‘Mac’ did hurt us,” Walker said. “Monett is quick. They like to put the ball on the ground. We played well. They just got a couple hits we didn’t get.”

“Going from last year, when they beat us 16-1 to shutting them out for for innings was a big improvement,” Duvall said. “I was pretty happy with how I pitched, especially with only having pitched two games this season.”

Duvall will close her career as one of Reeds Spring’s most prolific players. She reached the 100-hit club earlier this season.

“She’s had a great career,” Walker said. “She has a great attitude and personality. She’s done a great job adjusting. You liked her from day one and it only got better during her four years here. She’s the  reason (coaches) continue to do what they’re doing.”

“I’ve been fine wherever coach has put me, as long I play,” Duvall added.

Monett shut out Reeds Spring until the seventh inning.

“We didn’t hit the ball as well as we’re capable,” Walker said. “I think it’s timing. We’re everywhere in our swings. We’ll try to fix a few things. 

“This is such a great group of kids. It’s not like they’re not making any effort. We’re just in a little bit of a funk offensively.”

Walker said he may move some players in the lineup at Districts.

“We’ve got some spots (struggling) at the bottom of the lineup and at the beginning and the middle,” he said. “You don’t really want to bunch everyone (hitting well) together. But we’re going to have to make a couple changes.”

Reeds Spring’s No. 1 pitcher, Izzy Erickson, played at second base. Duvall also pitched and Erickson was at second for the Lady Wolves’ game with Springfield Kickapoo over the weekend.

Walker opted to rest Erickson in preparation for Districts.

“Just getting re-charged,” Erickson said. “We’re just resting my arm and having me play second. We thought taking this game off would be a good idea. I hope I do good (against West Plains) Wednesday.”

Erickson was 3-for-3 against Monett, continuing what has been an exceptional season at the plate. She’s hitting .500-plus, but hasn’t been satisfied with her bat.

“I think I could have hit better this year,” Erickson said. “We’ve had games in which we’ve went from slow a pitcher to a fast pitcher. I’ve had a little problem adjusting to that. This season has taught me I need to adjust a little faster.”

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