CADIZ - Donnie Bethel doesn't believe in gift no-hitters.
In a loss at Meadowbrook Saturday, Harrison Central's Katie Ellzy was credited with a no-hitter by the host Colts.
That was no doubt about her second on a chilly Monday afternoon. The fire-balling freshman faced four batters over the minimum in a 7-1 verdict over visiting Martins Ferry on the Sally Buffalo Park diamond in Buckeye 8 action.
"That's her second no-hitter in three games, however, the first one was a gift because we had a hit in our book and I'm not one that believes in gift no-hitters," Bethel said. "I take those things seriously. But today, I thought she was dominant in not-so-good conditions. I know they (Martins Ferry) were playing short-handed, but we did what we needed to do."
Indeed the Lady Huskies (1-2) did.
After being blanked in both ends of that aforementioned twinbill in Byesville, Harrison Central scored at least one run in five of its six at-bats, with every Huskie recording at least one hit.
"We swung the bats well and hit the ball hard today, and we got good pitching," Bethel added.
"We had that one error in the field, but that can be corrected."
After Ellzy set the debuting Purple Riders down in order in the top of the first, the hosts took a 1-0 lead on back-to-back, one-out doubles by Brooke Shultz and Kara Dunfee.
Martins Ferry, playing without its three seniors who were on a school-sponsored trip, evened the count in the second. Morgan Stalder reached base on the Huskies' lone error. She moved to third on a passed ball and wild pitch.
Meghan Rose's tapper to the mound was fielded by Ellzy, who looked Stalder back. She then threw on to first baseman Katie Parkinson for the out, but Stalder alertly broke for the plate and easily beat Parkinson's relay throw.
Harrison Central plated what turned out to be the game-winning run in its half of the second, with Parkinson racing home on the same exact play that Martins Ferry had scored on.
Jana Fenstamaker's two-run single to center in the third with two outs gave the hosts some breathing room at 4-1. It scored Madison Richards and Ellzy.
Fenstamaker, batting in the No. 7 spot in the Huskies' order, collected her third run batted in in the fifth. Her single to center chased home Richards. One-out later, Ronni Caldwell singled to center to score Fenstamaker, making it 6-1.
Ellzy, who helped herself at the plate with a pair of singles and a double, knocked in the final run with a two-out double to left-center to drive in Shultz, who had also doubled.
While the Huskies were pounding the cover off the ball against Martins Ferry freshman Ciera Beall, who was making her first varsity start inside the circle, Ellzy was retiring 13 of the final 14 batters she faced.
"Katie was really on her game today," Bethel said.
Ellzy needed 101 pitches - 70 - strikes to dispatch the Purple Riders in a mere 65 minutes. She fanned seven and walked two.
In addition to Ellzy's multiple-hit game, Shultz (two doubles), Dunfee (single, double), Parkinson (two singles) and Fenstamaker (two singles) also had more than one safety.
"She did a great job inside the circle," Martins Ferry head coach Paige Williams said of Ellzy. "All the credit goes to her because we certainly couldn't do anything with her.
"Could've been first-game jitters, I don't know. We didn't play characteristically like a Martins Ferry team, so I'm hoping that's what it was. I hope in 24 hours that we recuperate from it because it certainly didn't look like the team I've seen in the scrimmages and practices we've had."
She dismissed the fact that four freshmen were in the starting lineup.
"These girls have been practicing very hard and they are very talented, but they're still young."
Both teams are back in action today as Harrison Central remains at home as Barnesville visits, while Martins Ferry boards the bus for a trip to Woodsfield, where Monroe Central awaits.
Harrison Central 7, Martins Ferry 1
Martins Ferry 010 000 0 - 1 0 1
Harrison Central 112 021 x - 7 16 1
MARTINS FERRY (0-1): Beall (LP, 0K, 1BB) and K. Hotlosz.
HARRISON CENTRAL (1-2): (WP, 7K, 2BB) and Dodds; Staley D; Shultz 2D; Dunfee S, D, rbi; Richards D; Ellzy 2S, D, rbi; Parkinson 2S; Fenstamaker 2S, 3rbi; Caldwell S, 2rbi.