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Bulldogs use bunting strategy in tight quarterfinal game
Notre Dame's two runs came as a result of bunts.
In fast-pitch softball, bunting is one of the most important skills a team can have.
When facing a pitcher the caliber of Sullivan starter Meghan Bailey, sometimes the bunt is all you have.
Notre Dame Regional High School managed just one hit off Bailey on a bunt -- the play could have easily been called an error -- but managed to score twice with players who reached on bunts to squeak out a 2-0 Class 3 quarterfinal win over Sullivan on Saturday at the Kirkwood Athletic Association.
"You want to put pressure on them, and one way to put pressure on a team is with speed," Notre Dame coach Jeff Graviett said. "That's what we have."
Notre Dame's two freshman lefties, Paris Burger and Erika Reinagel, continued to attempt bunts throughout the game off Bailey. Reinagel finally made something happen in the sixth, reaching on a throwing error on a bunt to third. Reinagel eventually scored on an error for the eventual game-winning run.
"Paris and Erika are always getting on," Bulldogs catcher Bailey Reutzel said. "It's good to have someone on at second with our top hitters up to hit."
Reutzel came up with a bunt single with one out in the seventh and ended up scoring on an errant throw from the catcher which sailed into right field.
"We're blessed with speed up and down the lineup," Graviett said.
Putting the ball in play was key for the Bulldogs on Saturday, as Bailey struck out 11 Notre Dame batters in all. Notre Dame had just six baserunners in the game.
"She could really throw," Reinagel said of Bailey. "She was very good. We just wanted to get the ball in play."