By CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com
WAYNESBORO, VA — The Lady Lions of Wellsville were in the mood to swing the big bats at the plate on Tuesday. While holding Virginia’s Waynesboro to just one combined run across their doubleheader set, the back-to-back Class B2 Champions recorded 30 hits in all, including three home runs in game one to set the tone right away to take both games by 12-0 and 10-1 counts.
In game one, an early 2-0 lead garnered by the Lady Lions (6-0) was extended upon in the last three innings of play in an insurmountable fashion, as they posted their final 10 runs across the stretch, including a five-run sixth inning to finish off the shutout victory. The Lady Lions would come together to produce all 12 runs off 16 hits at the plate to fuel the offensive explosion.
Six different Wellsville hitters all recorded at least a pair of hits, with Makenna Dunbar leading the way with a pair of home runs, totaling four RBI all together. Makenzie Cowburn chipped in with two hits of her own, including a solo bomb, accounting for two RBI along the way. Emma Dunaway recorded three hits, and posted four RBI, while Natalie Adams, Averee Palmatier and Hailey Lanphier each tallied a pair of hits.
While the offense was providing massive damage, the defense led by a stellar outing by Dunbar in the circle was superb, holding Waynesboro to three hits across a seven-strikeout complete game.
“The common theme for this trip is that we have excellent pitching, excellent catching and solid hitting. Makenzie and Makenna continue to do massive damage at the plate,” said Lady Lions coach Matt Burke. “Defensively, we made some outstanding plays. In the first game, Marissa (Ordway) made some excellent picks at first base, and Natalie Adams and Ayla Faulkner made some excellent defensive plays as well.”
In the second game to close out the night under the lights, the Lady Lions would fight their way through a competitive battle in the first three innings of play. But the momentum would soon change into the hands of the team in black and orange completely, as they posted a big seven-run fourth inning ignited by a base-hit bunt laid down by Lindsay Stuck.
As the engine continued to churn, the damage was done by Hailey Lanphier later on in the frame, as she blasted a humongous two-run blast to break the floodgates wide open with a 7-0 lead they would ultimately build upon, and never look back from.
In all, the Lady Lions posted 10 runs off 14 hits at the plate, with four different hitters recording a pair of hits. Among them, Cowburn, Dunbar, Adams and Palmatier all had two hits, while Ayla Faulkner recorded her first career Varsity hit along the way. In the circle, Marissa Ordway helped set up shop with another dynamic pitching performance with seven strikeouts and two walks before Makenzie Cowburn picked up where she left off in her relief appearance with five more strikeouts to go with one walk.
“We had two outstanding pitching performances today from Marissa and Makenna. Makenna really pounded the strike zone, and Marissa had excellent movement on the ball,” said Burke. “We swung the bats well from the top to the bottom of the order with big hits coming from Dunbar, Cowburn and Lanphier.”
The Lady Lions will finish off their southern road trip with a stop in Dubois, PA with a 1 p.m. first pitch at Heindl Stadium.
Wellsville 0 1 1 415 0 – 12 16 1
Waynesboro 000 000 0 – 0 3 3
WLSV – Makenna Dunbar (WP) (CG, 7K) and Lindsay Stuck.
WAY – Kaitlyn Frenger (LP) (CG, K, 3BB), and Sloat.
Waynesboro 000 010 0 – 1 4 1
Wellsville 000 721 X – 10 14 0
GREENBELT, MD — Spring Break has officially kicked into full gear, where four local squads have taken long bus rides down to the south in Maryland, Virginia and South Carolina, facing some of the most elite competition every step of the way. Among the travelers are the Lady Lions softball squad, who took aim at continuing their enormous, season-opening momentum swing.
Their first stop was in Maryland on their way down to Virginia, where their quest began at Eleanor Roosevelt High School early Monday evening. The Lady Lions were presented a challenge from start to finish by the Maryland school with an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students. But with Makenzie Cowburn helping provide the best of both worlds for the team, Wellsville got down to brass tax and delivered the goods.
The Lady Lions junior was a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the spectrum, holding Eleanor Roosevelt to just two hits at the plate with her arm whilst blasting her second and third home runs of the season on offense to power up a strong debut with their fourth straight victory in a 5-0 shutout.
“Eleanor Roosevelt is a solid team that is well-coached. Makenzie was dominant in the circle. She pounded the strike zone and hit her spots. It’s nice to see the spark that she gave the team swinging the bat also. Averee (Palmatier) continues to swing the bat well, and she made a nice defensive play for us in the outfield.” said Lady Lions coach Matt Burke.
Behind Cowburn’s guidance, the Lady Lions (4-0) were able to grab the start they wanted against Eleanor Roosevelt through the first four innings of play, accumulating a 2-0 lead with a pair of solo home runs off the junior phenom’s bat. Cowburn would finish with three of the team’s nine hits at the plate, going a perfect 3-for-3.
In addition to her offensive spark, Cowburn held Eleanor Roosevelt to just two hits across a 10-strikeout performance.
The offense would continue to dig in and add onto their lead in the late stages of the battle, as Wellsville scored two more runs in the top of the fifth before finishing off the scoring with one more in the seventh to lock up the victory permanently.
Adding help along the way at the plate was Hailey Lanphier, who went 2-for-3 with a double and RBI. Averee Palmatier recorded a triple, while Teagan Burke recorded her first career Varsity hit.
The Lady Lions will now take the ride down to Virginia for doubleheader action beginning tonight in Waynesboro, beginning in a 4:30 p.m. game one first pitch.
Wellsville 100 120 1 – 5 9 0
Eleanor Roosevelt 000 000 0 – 0 2 1
WLSV – Makenzie Cowburn (WP) (CG, 10K) and Brazen Beckwith.
ER – Natalia Tarquin (LP) (CG) and Meriam Hjiej.
The softball boosters posted a fun photo gallery of past southern trips: