Steve Cassady was beaming with pride Tuesday afternoon.
At last weekend's Wolverine Classic, his Merced College softball team struggled to put games away.
And as a result, a good portion of Monday's practice was dedicated to situational hitting -- with the emphasis on delivering the fatal blow.
Apparently the message got through.
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Mallory Bair's two-out, two-run single in the sixth touched off the mercy rule as the She-Devils opened the second half of Central Valley Conference play with a dominating 10-2 victory over Reedley College.
"That was fun," Cassady said of MC's 17-hit performance. "It's nice to see them respond right away to what we work on in practice.
"If I had just stood there and done nothing -- going against my greedy nature -- we'd have probably scored five more runs and ended it a little sooner."
Despite MC (10-0 CVC, 24-12) running itself out of a few more potential big innings, Reedley was under constant duress.
All but one She-Devil starter had a hit in the game and six had multiple hits.
Bair, Monica Hall and Beth Flowers led the way, picking up three hits apiece.
"I think the practice helped, because when you have the pressure on, you know you have to come through," Bair said. "Anything can happen if you let teams hang around.
"We just need to do this consistently."
The run support was more than enough for MC pitcher Megan McColloch, whose only trouble came in the third inning.
Reedley (7-4 CVC, 21-16) pushed across two runs following a two-out walk and four consecutive singles.
McColloch (6-0) bounced right back, retiring eight of the final nine batters she faced.
"We lost a little bit of focus against Modesto over the weekend," Hall said. "I think today we showed we're learning.
"It was a similar kind of game, but we came together and finished them off."