HAMMONTON—For the second time in two weeks, St. Joseph pitcher Ava Fisher dominated a tough Hammonton lineup, adding a two-run homer as the Wildcats cruised to an 11-1 win last week to complete a sweep of the season series between the two teams.
“I don’t know what it is, but it seems like we always get her [Fisher’s] best when we play them. She was in control today and we just made way too many mistakes to win,” Hammonton coach Eric Shulman said.
Fisher held the Blue Devils to just two hits, striking out eight while issuing just one walk, tying a season-low.
Command has been a problem for Fisher at times, but she used a mix of fastballs and breaking pitches, staying around the plate, to handcuff a talented Hammonton lineup.
“She knows control has been a problem and she’s worked hard at fixing that. She was focused today and threw one of her best games of the season. If she can do that every game, she’ll be hard to beat,” St. Joseph coach Les Olson said.
For her part, Fisher said she felt comfortable in last week’s game.
“We beat them last week, so I was more confident today. I just worked on throwing strikes and letting my defense make plays,” Fisher said.
St. Joseph catcher Macie Jacquet said she has seen a difference in Fisher from last year to this season.
“She just has to believe in herself and I think she does. She throws so hard that no one is going to get a lot of hits, so if she can limit the walks and we don’t make errors, we have a good chance to win,” Jacquet said.
If Fisher’s abilities in the circle weren’t enough to handle Hammonton, her bat only added to the Blue Devils troubles.
Batting in the cleanup spot, Fisher went 2-for-3 in last week’s game.
It was her two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning that put the Wildcats in front, and they were never threatened, adding four runs in the second and five more in the third for an 11-0 lead.
St. Joe was able to take advantage of five Hammonton errors, as the Blue Devils hurt themselves with mistakes.
“I’ve said it all year, we can’t make mistakes and give away outs and we did it again today. It’s tough to win when you make five errors,” Shulman said.
Bella Davis led off the second with a solo home run for St. Joe, and an error in the outfield led to two more Wildcats runs before Fisher singled in another run.
In the third, a pair of errors let the Wildcats add two runs and after Alaina Dorsey singled in a run, another error gave St. Joseph two more runs.
Hammonton managed its lone run in the top of the fourth. Riley Lancaster singled with two outs and scored on Ava Livingston’s double.
“We’re playing well right now and when you make contact and put pressure on the defense, sometimes they make mistakes,” Olson said.
“Hammonton is a really good team and we were lucky that Ava [Fisher] threw well and kept them off the bases. I’m glad we don’t have to play them again this year,” Olson said.