Bruins’ pitching, defense dominate in shutout

Thursday, August 28, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:00 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Jennifer Mast was a little worried about her Rock Bridge softball team’s defense going into Wednesday night’s game against Smith-Cotton.

If Mast continues to get dominant pitching the way she did in the 10-0 victory at Rock Bridge, her defense might not need to make many plays.

Bruins starting pitcher Marijke Buitink scattered three hits in five innings, striking out six in a game shortened because of the 10-run rule.

Although Buitink was dominant, Mast also praised the Bruins’ aggressiveness and defense.

The Bruins were determined to protect the shutout.

“When Emily (Lay, a second baseman) chose to get the runner out at home instead of getting the easy play at first, (with an 8-0 lead in the fourth inning) if we can stay with that, we’re going to be a lot better,” Mast said.

“That was protecting your pitcher, going for the shutout, going for the kill, which is what we’ve been looking to do.”

Rock Bridge’s first five batters reached base, and the Bruins took a 5-0 lead in the first inning and led 8-0 after two.

Buitink, a senior, was pleased to see the Bruins score quickly.

“Definitely it took the pressure off of me,” Buitink said.

Leadoff hitter McKenzie Whitaker paced Rock Bridge’s balanced attack, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored.

“For the start of the season, we did an awesome job.” Whitaker said. “For the past two weeks, we’ve been practicing as hard as we can, and we finally came together as a team.”

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