LOVELAND, Colo. – Pitching was the name of the game in a 14U Sparkler Juniors Power Pool M matchup between Illusions Premier Cain 14U (1-0-0) and Indiana Magic Gold 04– Boteler (0-1-1) on Tuesday afternoon. It was Illusions Premier, behind a dominant effort from starting pitcher Emily Delgado, who left the Magic guessing in a 4-0 shutout victory at Barnes Sports Complex.
“They came out really strong, made every routine play and got the runs on offense when we needed it,” said Illusions Premier coach Caityln Cain of her squad. “It’s a good tone-setter for the week."
Delgado induced an array of flyouts off the bats of Indiana Magic Gold throughout her 5 2/3 innings of work on the hill. In doing so, held the Magic to just three hits in the game and didn’t allow a runner past second base. Delgado also recorded three strikeouts on the day.
“I try to put a lot of spin on the ball,” said Delgado when asked about her results in her opening game. “She mixes speeds really well and that causes a lot people to be out on their front side; making it really easy on us on defense,” said Coach Cain.
All of the offense came in the top of the third inning, when 10-hole hitter Gracie Smith started a string of what would be five consecutive hits for the Illusions Premier that saw four runners cross by innings end. In the inning, Illusions Premier sent nine of their ten batters to the plate. That also marked the end of the day for Magic Gold starter Amanda Eaglin, who went 2 1/3 innings.
“I would have liked to see us put them on more innings that just the one,” said Cain. “But what I really liked about that inning was we executed the bunt, we executed the sac fly, we put it on the right side when we needed to. They worked together as a team to get the runs across the board, so it was a nice team inning.”
Indiana relief pitcher Erin Hoehn did her part to keep her club in it; finishing the game without surrendering another run in 4 2/3 innings work, while tallying five strikeouts in the appearance.
The 4-0 lead was more than enough room for Illusions Premier closer Sidne Peters, who sat down all four of the remaining batters she faced to wrap up the Illusions Premier victory in their tournament opener.
Outfielder Townsen Thomas and Peters both finished the game going 2-for-4 and each adding an RBI.
“Our energy was really good and took a domino effect the rest of the game and it will help us out the rest of the tournament,” said Delgado.
Illusions Premier Cain 14U and Indiana Magic Gold 04 – Boteler will both continue pool play on day two of the 2019 Sparkler Juniors event on Wednesday, July 3 at Barnes Sports Complex.