By CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com
RICHBURG — Both the Lady Wolverines of Bolivar-Richburg and the Lady Lions of Wellsville had a common opponent to share the field with on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon for softball — the undefeated Williamson Lady Marauders, winners of their first eight games.
The two games on display in both Richburg and Wellsville saw just about everything unfold. Numerous offensive outbursts, solid defense and fine pitching. Just some of your typical ingredients to winning games.
The Lady Wolverines were up first against Williamson. In their battle, a massive understatement — the two teams combined to provide a display of power across all seven innings. A display that may or may not have also included a home run derby of sorts.
All of the fireworks came towards the tail end of their battle, with 14 of the last 17 combined runs being scoring in the last four innings of play. Through it, saw an inning that stood out from all the rest.
It belonged to Bolivar-Richburg.
The Lady Wolverines brought it all to the table after taking a 4-1 lead on Williamson, as they put together a six-run frame of offense that broke open the game and changed the tide for good, despite one final comeback bid by the Lady Marauders in the seventh inning, as they sped their way towards an 11-6 victory to hand their opponent their first loss of the season while staying unbeaten with their seventh straight win.
The defense was tested out of the gate by the Lady Marauders, despite two quick outs, with Williamson threatening with their first runner reaching on a two-out double. But a big strikeout from the arm of Jessica Majot delivered a bounce back that would give the Lady Wolverines (7-0) some momentum going into their first at-bats.
As a result, they would break the ice first with their first two runs of the game coming off a single swing, with Maddy Thornton providing it on a huge drive into deep left field that exited the field in an absolute hurry. With Haley Mascho reaching on a base hit already, it would give the hosts a two-run blast to open the game with, and to control going forward.
The response for Williamson however came rather quickly. In the top half of the third, they grab a lead-off triple to immediately place a runner into prime scoring position to get on the board, as they cash in off a squeeze bunt from Paige Jordan to bring in the run in, with a late throw to the plate not coming in time to try and grab the double play.
A full scoreless third and a Bolivar-Richburg blanking of Williamson’s offense in the fourth leads to their own offense picking up where they left off, as they went on to score two more runs courtesy of some key baserunning. To begin, the Lady Wolverines made sure that a third straight scoreless inning wouldn’t occur again, as Braelin Bentley started the hitting with an RBI single into left to score Majot. Later, a wild pitch away from the plate garnered enough distance to bring Bentley home to score, extending their advantage to three after four complete.
The pistons would then fire on all cylinders for the Lady Wolverines in the bottom of the fifth when everything reached a boiling point, as they went on to break the doors down with a six-run frame led by a humongous three-run nuke from the bat of Malayna Ayers to branch their lead out even farther.
McKinlee Harris and Haley Mascho added fuel to the fire for the hosts, as they combined to drive in the next three runs, two of them would come off of a two-run triple to deep right center by Harris, while Mascho had the last off a single. The runs would help Bolivar-Richburg eclipse the 10-run mark for the game, but it wouldn’t last long.
Williamson showed no signs of backing down, as they scored five of the game’s last six runs, including a three-spot in the sixth led by a Kearstin Laird three-run rocket to deep center field. After Bolivar-Richburg added one final piece of insurance in the bottom half, and recorded the first two outs of Williamson’s final at-bats in the seventh, they would make things interesting in the end.
Despite a laser beam that was caught by Majot, and then quickly turned into a double play to push Williamson to the brink, Olivia Flynn provided the game’s final home run, the fourth in all, to help reduce the deficit back down to five after a two-run blast left the park immediately in deep left center field to close the gap. But it would not be enough over come, as Majot grabs a late strikeout to end the game.
Bolivar-Richburg compiled 11 runs off 11 hits, with Thornton paving the way with a 3-for-4 outing and her two solo home runs. Majot would finish with two hits including a double and three runs scored. McKinlee Harris added a triple.
In the circle, the win belonged to Majot who provided a hot start in the circle, striking out nine and walking two.
Cuba-Rushford will travel to Bolivar-Richburg to take on the host Lady Wolverines in a 5 p.m. battle of their own on Wednesday.
Williamson 010 003 2 – 6 8 4
Bolivar-Richburg 200 261 X – 11 11 1
WILL – Olivia Flynn (LP) (2K, 2BB), Jennifer Walter (6) (2K, BB), and Reagan Mangos.
B-R – Jessica Majot (WP) (9K, BB), Malayna Ayers (7) (BB), and Madigan Harris.
Chris Brooks photo gallery: