In a defensive battle the Destin Marlins won the war 1-0 over the visiting Freeport Bulldogs in middle school softball action Wednesday afternoon in Destin.

“It was a pitcher’s duel the whole game … there were a ton of strikeouts on both sides,” said Destin Coach Kati O’Brian.

Destin’s Ava Smith racked up nine strikeouts, while the Freeport pitcher Alexis Newsome struck out 13.

“We played amazing on defense. I don’t think we had a single error and we had two diving catches by our fifth grader Hannah Isham,” O’Brian said.

Isham, playing in centerfield, made a diving catch in the sixth and then the final catch in the seventh inning to secure the win.

“I just went for it,” Isham said referring to the catch in the sixth.

As for the one in the seventh, the shy fifth-grader said, “I thought it was going to go back and I just saw it.”

When asked if she thought she might miss it, she replied, “sort of."

Isham not only had two big catches, but she also scored the lone Destin run.

In the bottom of the fourth, Isham reached on an error then stole around to third. At that point, Coach O’Brian called a squeeze bunt and Olivia Payne delivered.

“Olivia put the bunt down perfectly and got here into home,’ O’Brian said.

Isham wasn’t the only Marlin playing great defense.

“The whole right side of our field did a bang-up job. Our second baseman Ashlynn (Priest) made several big plays at second for us,” O’Brian said.

“Defense hands down won that game for us,” she added.

In the last inning alone, Destin first baseman Blakely York made two unassisted putouts at first before Isham made the final catch in the outfield to end the game.

“It was a great game on both sides of the ball,” O’Brian said.

Up next for Destin is a 4:30 p.m. game Monday in Shalimar against the Meigs Wildcats.