By CHRIS BROOKS, managing editor, wellsvillesports.com
SCIO — There were no signs of slowing Friendship/Scio down on Wednesday. The defending back-to-back Class D2 champions came out lock, stock and barrel, and ready to roll against visiting Fillmore, as they used a dominant first at-bat sequence to set the tone immediately in what was their sixth win in first eight games on their home field in Scio, taking the 14-0 shutout over the Lady Eagles.
The Friendship/Scio (6-2) offense was unstoppable from start to finish, as the cohesive unit combined to record 14 total runs off 14 total hits, which would allow them to set the tone almost immediately out of the gate in the opening frame, scoring 10 runs to fuel their way past Fillmore and towards the victory.
Three different hitters recorded at least a pair of hits on offense, including Nevaeh Ross, who was a force on both sides of the field once more with a perfect 4-for-4 outing and four runs scored. The Friendship/Scio phenom also held Fillmore (2-4) to just three hits across a 14-strikeout, one-walk performance in the circle from start to finish.
Adding more help on offense was Morghyn Ross, as she went 3-for-3 with a double and three RBI. Claire Calhoun pitched in with two hits including a double, and four RBI, while Katherine Lamberson drove in three more runs.
For Fillmore, Mylee Miller, Oakley Frazier and Mattie McCumiskey all garnered a hit on offense. In the circle, Miller went the distance with one strikeout and six walks.
Fillmore 0 00 000 0 – 0 3 0
Friendship/Scio (10) 30 001 X – 14 14 0
FIL – Mylee Miller (LP) (CG, K, 6BB) and Jenna Austin.
F/S – Nevaeh Ross (WP) (CG, 14K, BB) and Morghyn Ross.
CHRIS BROOKS PHOTO GALLERY (story after the photos)
RICHBURG — A showdown between two local powerhouses, who also currently stand as defending back-to-back Section V champions in their respective classes, can be some of the most exciting action a softball game can offer. When it’s two teams that are separated by just a short drive from another, that becomes an added bonus.
Thursday night in Richburg, the packed crowd that surrounded the field for a battle of epic proportions got their money’s worth and much more in an all-out defensive war that began right from the start, all the way down to the wire.
Something had to give in the midst of a scoreless heavyweight bout, but at what cost was it going to come?
With no capitalizations on offense being made across the board at the plate for five straight scoreless innings, the time for small ball had arrived. Both teams were knocking on the door of opportunity late, but the knocking would soon receive a response.
After Friendship/Scio issued the game’s first threat to open the scoring, the Lady Wolverines fired right back. Not only did they knock, but they wound up breaking the door down.
Haley Mascho was the first to ride the game-changing tidal wave in the bottom of the sixth inning for Bolivar-Richburg, as she connected on the team’s first big hit with runners in scoring position, lifting a hit into the outfield to plate the first run. When it was all said and done, the Class C3 champions totaled four enormous runs against the Class D2 champions, as they closed up shop with one final stand of defense to secure a phenomenal and resilient 4-0 victory.
“Tonight’s game definitely had a Sectional feel to it, and I think that this will benefit both teams later in the season,” said Lady Wolverines coach Brooke Lovell. “Friendship/Scio is a solid team that is well-coached. It was a competitive game from the start, and to be able to pull out the win this early in the season is definitely a boost for our team.”
Friendship/Scio’s Nevaeh Ross and Bolivar-Richburg’s Malayna Ayers were in complete command from within the circle, as both aces guided their squads across five quick, scoreless innings of softball, with numerous 1-2-3 innings being exchanged. One of which was garnered by Ayers in just four pitches during the fifth inning.
In the midst of the fight, Friendship/Scio (6-3) provided their first of two solid chances to apply pressure against Bolivar-Richburg, as they saw Nevaeh Ross work her way on base, reaching on error and working all the way over to third base. After the visitors laid two straight bunts down, Madigan Harris would use her awareness at the plate to catch Ross making a break for home, catching Ross in the base path, grabbing the out at the dish.
Their best chance would come with a pair of runners in Logan Roberts and Nevaeh Ross reaching, ultimately landing in scoring position with one out. But both were left stranded by Ayers and the Lady Wolverines (4-0) defense, as the senior hurler recorded a big strikeout along with a nice grab from Jayna Thomas in center on a line drive to end the inning.
In turn, Bolivar-Richburg would cash in on the game’s ultimate momentum shift, beginning with a lead-off single into the right field gap from McKinlee Harris, followed by a Thomas bunt that moved Harris further into scoring position. The Lady Wolverines would then break through the ice with a shot that sank into right field, scoring Harris for the game’s first run and lead.
With the foundation laid down, the Lady Wolverines resumed putting the pieces to the puzzle together with RBIs from Rylee Whiting and Allie Zilker, extending their lead out to four — far enough to hang on in the final inning to score the big win over Friendship/Scio at the end of the night.
Ayers was credited with the win on the mound for Bolivar-Richburg, holding Friendship/Scio to just two hits while striking out six and walking one while the offense produced six hits at the plate. Mascho and Whiting led the way with two hits each.
For the visitors in black and gold, Ross fanned 11 Lady Wolverines and walked one in her complete game effort. At the plate, she along with Katherine Lamberson recorded the team’s lone hits, recording singles.
The Lady Wolverines will close out the week with a 5 p.m. road trip to Fillmore tonight, while Friendship/Scio looks to rebound back home in Scio on Monday with a 5 p.m. visit from Genesee Valley/Belfast.
Friendship/Scio 000 000 0 – 0 2 2
Bolivar-Richburg 000 004 X – 4 6 2
F/S – Nevaeh Ross (LP) (CG, 11K, BB) and Morghyn Ross.
B-R – Malayna Ayers (WP) (CG, 6K, BB) and Madigan Harris.