Tagg lifts Baldwin softball past Mt. Lebanon

Monday, April 8, 2019 | 9:51 PM

Addie Tagg had a day.

The Baldwin senior not only pitched a complete game, she also hit two home runs and drove in half of her team’s runs in a 10-3 victory over Section 1-6A foe Mt. Lebanon on Monday afternoon.

It’s been the ongoing theme of Baldwin’s early success in 2019 — get good pitching from Tagg and score a lot of runs. Coming into the game against Mt. Lebanon, Baldwin (6-1, 5-1) had shut out its opponents in five of six games and had scored more than 13 runs per game.

Good pitching and strong hitting continued as Tagg scattered six hits and gave up two earned runs, while the Highlanders pounded out 14 hits.

Tagg credited her pitching success so far this year on an evolving cache of pitches she’s been able to develop and hone.

“I’ve been able to develop a curveball and screwball; I didn’t have those pitches when I started pitching full-time as a sophomore, and now they’re my best pitches,” Tagg said. “And, my command is definitely a focus of mine. I don’t throw 65 (mph), so I have to rely on placement of my pitches.”

Baldwin coach Gina Fuchs was complimentary of her senior leader.

“Addie’s been here,” she said. “She’s been doing it since she’s been a freshman. She knows her strengths. She works ahead (in the count), and she’s a competitor out there. She loves to win.”

Baldwin wasted no time, scoring three runs on three hits in the bottom of the first inning in taking a 3-0 lead. Leadoff hitter Salena Jaquay walked, stole second and came around to score on a single by Maleah Pacella. Jaquay was initially held at third after the base hit by Pacella but scored after a Blue Devils throwing error. Cassie Carlson then singled home Pacella to give Baldwin a 2-0 lead. Carlson eventually came around to score and a single by freshman Brookelle Holby.

Mt. Lebanon (2-4, 2-4) scored in the top of the second. After a leadoff double by pitcher Jenna Gorecki, her courtesy runner, Iris Barone, scored on a two-out single by Ella Keebler to cut the lead to 3-1.

The Blue Devils tied it in the top of the fourth. Liz Kubancek led off the inning with a triple to right-center field. One batter later, Kubancek scored on a Baldwin error off the bat of Gorecki. Iris Barone then scored on a two-out, bases loaded infield single by Kate Barone to make it 3-3.

But, Baldwin went ahead for good in the bottom of the fourth by scoring four runs, capped off by Tagg’s first of two long balls. With a run already home and Jaquay and Pacella on base, Tagg lifted a high drive over the fence in left-center field to give the Highlanders a 7-3 lead. Tagg added a two-run shot in the bottom of the sixth to give Baldwin some insurance.

“My expectations are that we play ‘Baldwin softball,’” Fuchs said. “I tend to tackle the things that are right in front of me; I want this team to play good defense, have quality at-bats and work ahead in the circle. Doing all of those things will lead to us having success.”

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