SAN MARCOS, TX (July 18, 2017) — Lauren Haeger wasn’t going to let a little discomfort spoil her evening on the mound.
Battling through back soreness, the pitcher from University of Florida tossed a four-hitter in pacing the Texas Charge to a 4-1 win over Akron Tuesday night at Bobcat Softball Stadium.|
In helping the Charge improve to .500 (16-16), Haeger struck out 12 and walked two. The only Akron run crossed the plate in the sixth inning on a fielding error.
Hager was in top form. Her fastball was zooming and the change-up was finding its spots.
In addition, she received a boost from the offense, which combined speed and timely hits for the run support.
“I went through (back issues) in college,” Haeger said. “It’s probably always going to be there, but I just deal with it and get through it. I was feeling good with my pitches. I was hitting my spots and I had good velocity the entire game.”
Charge skipper Roman Foore enjoyed the performance and appreciated his pitcher’s mental toughness.
“Honestly, she had great location,” Foore said. “Her change-up had great location. She was able to expand the zone a little bit. Her back was a little tight, but she got the adrenaline going and wanted the ball.”
Haeger got into her groove in the first inning. After a strikeout, the Charge pitcher gave up a single to A.J. Andrews. The Akron batter stole second, but she remained stranded in scoring position after Haeger came back to get a foul out and a fly to center.
Haeger was given an opportunity to work with a lead after the Charge pushed across a run in the bottom of the inning.
With one out, Kora Costal reached on an error. She moved to second on a single from Bailey Landry and eventually came home on a passed ball.
Haeger breezed through the Akron lineup the next four innings and got a little breathing room in the fifth after the Charge staged a three-game rally.
Brejae Washington and Taylor Gadbois singled and moved to second and third on a throwing error.
Costa then delivered a sacrifice fly and Landry followed with an RBI single.
Haeger then dropped a base hit into center and Landry scored on Alisa Goler’s single for a 4-0 lead.
Haeger finished things up with quality pitching the final two innings.
It wasn’t easy.
After Akron tagged the Charge for a run in the sixth, the Racers put together a threat in the seventh with two singles. As the tying run came to the plate, Haeger ended the comeback attempt with a strikeout.
For Foore, it was a good way to get back on track following a three-day break.
“We had three days off and you never know what they’re going to bring on that day off,” Foore said. “Sometimes you worry about being complacent. I was proud of what they brought. We had good pitching and we made the most of our opportunities. The attention to detail was good.
“We have been working hard to play the game the right way. If we play the game right, we’re going to be in a lot of games.”
The Charge is hoping Tuesday’s victory is the springboard for bigger results. There’s still plenty of softball to play, but establishing consistency now quickly is critical.
“Hopefully, we’ll pull it together,” Foore said. “This is a very crucial stretch for us. We’re playing the teams ahead of us. When we have those matchups, we have to take advantage of it.”
Click here for Box Score
Game Time: 1:52
Vaultz® Lock it Up! ® Player of the Game: Lauren Haeger(Texas Charge)
The Texas Charge are an affiliate professional fastpitch softball team competing in the National Pro Fastpitch league. The team, headquartered in New Braunfels, TX, began competition in the league in 2015. The Charge provides elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Austin area, the Charge organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Texas Charge at www.texascharge.net
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Akron Racers, Beijing Shougang, Chicago Bandits, Scrap Yard Dawgs, Texas Charge and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2017 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.