BENTON — It was “Miller Time” Tuesday evening at Fairfield High School and unfortunately for the hometown Falcons it was the wrong Miller that came out on top in the pitching decision.
Eastside sophomore Ashton Miller struck out 16 as the Blazers posted a 4-3 NECC win.
“Miller moved the ball around and mixed her speeds,” Fairfield coach John Skibbe said. “She did a great job moving the ball from the inside to the outside. She is an excellent pitcher, but we have got to put the ball in play more than we did tonight.”
The Falcons had six hits in the contest with the big blow being a two-home run by sophomore Jalisa Schwartz in the sixth inning.
“Ashton has great movement on the ball,” Eastside coach Aaron Willard said. “ The Fairfield pitchers moved the ball around as well. We just executed early and hung on at the end.”
Sophomore Lairen Miller pitched the first four innings for the Falcons and junior Danica Mast the final three.
The game was scoreless until the top of the third when Ashton Miller doubled home senior Eillie Parker. Miller scored the second tun on a squeeze bunt by junior Erin Strock.
The Blazers increased their lead to 4-0 when Strock belted a two-run home run in the top of the fifth.
“She has hit a couple of balls off the fence this season, but that is her first home run,” Willard said. “The wind was blowing out and that seemed to help. The ball seemed to carry tonight.”
Lairen Miller struck out four and walked none for the Falcons and Mast two and zero.
“I was happy with the way we pitched,” Skibbe said. “Danica made one mistake. She got a fastball up in the zone and Eastside made her pay for it.
“Lairen and Danica are similar pitchers and we are still trying to figure out how best to use them.. Last night we started Danica and brought Lairen in to relieve. Tonight we flip-flopped that.”