PLEASANT VALLEY —
The tables have turned in North Marion’s favor.
The Huskies’ softball team blew past Fairmont Senior during its first Class AA sectional elimination game on Tuesday, 23-1, and then waxed East Fairmont, 10-0, while pushing for a sectional final rematch today.
“I think our girls were in survival mode today,” North Marion’s head coach Brad Harker said following the game. “We played like today meant something.”
All the hoopla and hype that was anticipated during this game was all but deceiving.
You see, it was supposed to be a classic showdown — North’s Danielle Fluharty versus East’s Ashley Martin.
What led to the anticipated game was when Martin earned the upper hand on Monday. Everyone knew Martin’s win would burn in the depths of Fluharty’s soul.
“(Fluharty) is a competitor,” Harker said. “We feed off her a lot of times. When she steps on the mound and starts throwing well and she settles in, you can see everyone around us picking their game up.”
Fluharty added, “You just have to come in strong, and I know I have a good defense behind me that is going to back me up.”
Knowing that this game was a do-or-die situation, this is when Fluharty turned her attitude to an all-business approach.
She fanned five Bee hitters while allowing just five hits in her complete-game shutout win.
“Striking out a person and then being able to head into the dugout to hit makes me feel like we feed off the energy,” Fluharty said.
Let’s transition back to Martin. Although she was on the tail end of the loss, she did her part. The granddaddy saying of softball mentions that “a pitcher can’t win if his/her team doesn’t score any runs.’”