ON DECK: Diamond's Parmley cheers on teammate Daniels from on-deck circle

May 13—Diamond was trailing 3-1 in the fourth inning of last week's Class 2 District 6 championship softball game at Mount Vernon, against the Mountaineers.

Mount Vernon's starting pitcher Cheyenne Bieber had held the Wildcats' offense in check most of the way, but was dealing with a threat in the fourth and Talyn Daniels at the plate.

Daniels fell behind Bieber and had two strikes on her in a hurry. The count was at 1-2 and Daniels had fouled a pitch off. From the on-deck circle, you could hear Kabrie Parmley talking to her teammate.

"Make her pitch to you," Parmley said over and over late in the at-bat.

That phrase is as simple as it sounds. Parmley didn't want her teammate swinging at a bad pitch just because she was behind in the count.

"I'm really just trying to cheer them on. I want them to have the best mindset up there. We need them to hit the ball," Parmley said. "When you go against a pitcher like that ... make her pitch to you. Don't give her anything."

You will often her that phrase or one similar to it being shouted at a batter by coaches, fans and, in this case, teammates.

The next pitch from Bieber was above the shoulders of Daniels and probably eye level.

"Just trying to get a hit. Everybody cheering brings up your confidence a lot," Daniels said.

Daniels started her swing on the high pitch and was able to catch up to it and knock it over the heads of the infielders and into the outfield grass to drive in a run and make it 3-2.

That may not have been the exact description for making a pitcher pitch to you. A lot of times that means to make sure it's in the zone. That was probably going to be ball two instead, but Daniels got a pitch she knew she could handle and it got a run in.

"I was proud of her for making what she was given work," Parmley said.

It also may have caused Mount Vernon head coach Matt Schubert to decide to go to a new pitcher. When the fifth inning started, Schubert had pulled Bieber.

That contribution could have changed the final three innings as Diamond went on to score three runs in the fifth on Mount Vernon's relief pitcher Emmie Schubert and then held on for the 5-3 win.

Daniels said she was happy to be able to contribute as a sophomore for a team led by its veteran players.

"It's a big accomplishment. The countless hours working and having the coaches there to support you," she said. "We have great seniors."