Schiebe stars as Masuk softball blanks Newtown

Along with Madison Procyk, Sam Schiebe is part of a Masuk High softball pitching tandem that has allowed just one run in five games — all wins – to start the year.

In Friday’s game against Newtown, Schiebe was not only productive on the mound but also at the plate, driving in all three runs in Masuk’s 3-0 victory over South-West Conference rival Newtown.

Masuk jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening inning as leadoff batter Erica Pullen walked and Megan McFarland hit a one-out single. After the second out was recorded, Procyk kept the inning going when she was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Schiebe, who followed with a two-run single.

A similar formula worked for another run in the third as McFarland singled with one out, Alexa Bacoulis reached on a force, and Procyk was again hit by a pitch. Schiebe then came through with an RBI single to score Bacoulis and give the Panthers a 3-0 lead.

In the circle, Schiebe was mostly dominant, fanning nine Newtown batters. Procyk, playing third base, fielded a grounder and froze a base runner at second before getting the first out of the sixth inning with a throw to first.

“That was a big, big play for us,” said Masuk coach Leigh Barone. “Defensively, we just made the plays.”

Another hit and advance on the throw set Newtown up with a second and third situation. Schiebe got a strikeout, then walked a batter to load the bases before escaping the jam with another strikeout.

“She had some clutch strikeouts today,” said Barone about Schiebe.

“I knew my team had my back if a pitch wasn’t there,” said Schiebe, who allowed four hits.

The Panthers, facing Villanova-bound pitcher Sara Kennedy, decided not to sit back and wait for the right pitch to hit.

“We know they’re going to have great pitching. We see them every year. We have to be prepared for that and be aggressive at the plate,” said Barone.

Masuk’s offense was held to single digits for the first time since a season-opening 2-1 win over St Joseph of Trumbull, but — thanks in large part to Schiebe’s timely hitting — got enough production.

“It felt good to help the team,” said Schiebe. “It’s always an exciting game when we play them.”

McFarland and Schiebe each had two singles, and Bacoulis added a single for Mask.

The Panthers will carry their 5-0 record into Tuesday’s scheduled game with visiting Fitch, the team they lost to in last year’s Class L state tournament quarterfinals.

“We’ve been having a good year and I think these wins at the beginning of the season will help us during the rest of the year,” said Schiebe.

“We’re definitely pleased with our start,” added Barone.

Masuk's Megan McFarland connects with a pitch during Friday's win over Newtown. — Andy Hutchison photo

Masuk’s Megan McFarland connects with a pitch during Friday’s win over Newtown. — Andy Hutchison photo

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