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Stan Harris Field: The legend watches as Bolivar-Richburg softball field bears his name (softball roundup and photos)


By CHRIS BROOKS, managing editor,

RICHBURG — Saturday night in Richburg was a night that everyone in attendance will remember in the time ahead.

The back-to-back title defense for the Lady Wolverines of Bolivar-Richburg could not have started on a more torrid path, garnering wins in each of their first eight games of the season. The offense has begun to hit all strides, the defense on the field has been outstanding. And because of it, they remained as one of Section V’s lone unbeaten teams entering the weekend.

But they weren’t the only ones. Their next opponent on the docket was also looking to provide a similar storyline themselves — another Class C superpower in the Bloomfield Lady Bombers.

To navigate what would be their toughest battle of the season so far, the Lady Wolverines would seek some motivation before the first pitch was thrown.

After what was his final season back in 2015, legendary Lady Wolverines head coach Stan Harris, who now serves as a volunteer coach under current coach Brooke Lovell, was one of many Bolivar-Richburg coaches to receive a comment sheet to fill out regarding their season. Harris made his way down the list until his final comment regarding the team’s future for next season. The answer was a simple and straightforward one — a field he can call his own.

After the resolution was passed at a Bolivar-Richburg school board meeting earlier this month, Harris’ wish had come true. In the outfield, a black and red sign was revealed for all to bear witness to, forever. Revealed by his grandchildren — McKinlee and Madigan Harris.

April 29, 2023 — the first night at Stan Harris Field. And it was a phenomenal one.

Game one at the newly dedicated softball field showcased two Class C titans giving it their all on both ends of the spectrum. Although the Lady Bombers were the first to strike immediately, the Lady Wolverines would answer the challenge every step of the way. In a back-and-forth battle down the stretch, crunch time arose.

With the game tied at three, something had to give. In the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Wolverines made well enough sure that the night was theirs for the taking.

Off key RBIs from McKinlee and Madigan Harris, along with a two-run smoker from Haley Mascho, Bolivar-Richburg propelled their way back to the top for good with a go-ahead, four-run tenure of offense. Along with it, Malayna Ayers and the defense in turn kept Bloomfield frozen at the plate in the last two innings of play, as the Lady Wolverines went forth to collect their ninth consecutive victory — a 7-3 emotional triumph over the Lady Bombers to remain undefeated.

“Coach Harris has put a lot of time and effort into the Bolivar-Richburg softball program. Seeing that being rewarded and honored tonight was really special,” said Lovell. “Bloomfield is a really strong team, so we knew coming into tonight that this game would be a test for us. Being able to come out and get the win, it shows the hard work of the players on the team. The girls were resilient. They battled back, kept their heads up and they were able to answer.”

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Before the Lady Wolverines (9-0) were able to end the night on the brightest of notes, they would have to overcome a strong first inning introduction from the Lady Bombers, led by a massive bomb into deep center field by Calla McCombs, who went yard on the last strike of her at-bat to record a lead-off solo homer off Malayna Ayers to earn the game’s first lead.

Bloomfield would then retain some of that newly-founded energy behind the guidance of Ashlyn Wright in the circle, as she went on to strike out the side in the bottom half to maintain their lead. But like the Lady Wolverines have done for much of the season, they would ultimately find their way.

In the bottom of the second, the home dugout went into a complete frenzy after a routine ground ball laid down by Allie Zilker to the left side of the infield led to a series of errors by the Lady Bombers defense, resulting in Zilker working her way around the bases behind both Madigan Harris and Rylee Whiting to complete a go-ahead three-run sequence to take the lead.

Both Wright and Ayers continued to show signs of brilliance from within the circle to keep Bloomfield and Bolivar-Richburg off the board across a scoreless third. But in the fourth, the Lady Bombers fired right back with a game-tying two-run frame led by a triple from Brianna Leitten, landing at the base of the right field fence to cut the deficit down to one. On the next at-bat, the deadlock was created on a single from Emma Maccartney, attempting to catch Leitten making a break for home, but the throw could not make it in time.

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But perhaps a game-changing moment would occur for the Lady Wolverines in the top of the fifth, after a magnificent dive across by McKinlee Harris at short saved a ball from entering the outfield, regaining her position to fire a throw across to Rylee Whiting, who made the second of two brilliant stretches on the bag to record the out to end the inning.

With it, the energy levels for the Lady Wolverines would reach full capacity, and as a result, the floodgates were broken down.

The first two runners would reach base to begin the frame, including Harris, who laid down a gorgeous bunt that sank straight into the dirt in front of the plate. With Cassidy Stives ahead of her off a lead-off single, she would account for a run that gave the Lady Wolverines the 4-3 lead back again.

From that point, they would build. After a series of at-bats, Haley Mascho would ensure the damage was done, as she pulverized a double that took one bounce off the ground before hitting the left center field fence, freeing up the bags while arriving safely to second to extend their lead to 6-3 on the two-run smack. To close out the inning, the advantage grew to four with an RBI single from Madigan Harris.

In the last two innings, the rest of the game would lay solely on the shoulders of Malayna Ayers and the defense, as they were able to successfully shell out two shutout innings to keep Bloomfield at bay, including a seventh inning fanning of the side to close up shop.

Ayers held the Lady Bombers to five hits in the midst of her complete game, handing out seven chairs while walking two to record the win.

The Lady Wolverines will look to eclipse the 10-win mark in their return to action Tuesday night back on Stan Harris Field, as they host Andover/Whitesville in a 5 p.m. first pitch.

“We have had a good start to the season, but we don’t want to let up. We want to stay prepared, both physically and mentally in order to be successful at the end of the season.” said Lovell.

Bloomfield 100 200 0 – 3 5 3

Bolivar-Richburg 030 040 X – 7 7 2

BLO – Ashlyn Wright (LP) (CG, 12K, 2BB) and Calla McCombs.

B-R – Malayna Ayers (WP) (CG, 7K, 2BB) and Madigan Harris.

Stories continue after photo gallery:

Avoca/Prattsburgh 8, Genesee Valley/Belfast 0

BELMONT — At any given moment and at any given time, the balance of power can change in an instant. All it takes is that one massive shift in momentum. On Saturday, in the midst of a pitcher’s duel between Avoca/Prattsburgh’s Emma Carlton and Genesee Valley/Belfast’s Hannah Southwick-Powers, that power surge occurred.

A tide-turning sequence created by Ellie Harrell.

The Avoca/Prattsburgh catcher made the most of the opportunity at the plate after both teams traded a pair of scoreless innings. With the bases loaded, Harrell sent a pitch into orbit far enough for it to go yard, as she unloaded a grand slam to account for all four of the team’s runs to pull ahead. The Lady Titans were able to build off of it one more time to branch their lead for good, securing the 8-0 shutout in Belmont.

The grand slam for Harrell would come right in the third inning after both defenses exchanged scoreless frames on the field, as Avoca/Prattsburgh loaded up the bases following two quick outs by the Genesee Valley/Belfast (4-5) defense.

The flood gates would soon open up later on for the Lady Titans, as they went on to build in the top of the fifth with four more runs. The big bat in the frame would belong to Lily Hausauer, as she belted a two-run single to push their distance even further away from the hosts in gray and black, ultimately for good.

Despite the defeat, Hannah Southwick-Powers was outstanding on the mound for Genesee Valley/Belfast, striking out 13 and walking four in her complete game. On the other side, Emma Carlton provided a similar performance of her own for the visitors in gold and black, fanning 11 and walking two in her victorious complete game.

At the plate for Genesee Valley/Belfast, Abby Sullivan recorded two of the team’s five hits.

Up next, Genesee Valley/Belfast will prepare for a 5 p.m. road trip to Alfred-Almond on Monday.

Avoca/Prattsburgh 004 040 0 – 8 6

Genesee Valley/Belfast 000 000 0 – 0 5

A/P – Emma Carlton (WP) (CG, 11K, 2BB) and Ellie Harrell.

GVB – Hannah Southwick-Powers (LP) (CG, 13K, 4BB) and Jenna Hill.

Portville Tourney Consolation

Cuba-Rushford 20, Allegany-Limestone 1 (F-3)

PORTVILLE — Following a tough shutout to the hands of Portville back on Thursday, the goal for the Lady Rebels of Cuba-Rushford was to rebound and finish their tournament tenure on the strongest of notes. Saturday afternoon, they wasted no time whatsoever, as they went wild on offense against Allegany-Limestone in the Consolation round, posting a 20-1 win.

Jordyn Radomski was awarded the win across her start, fanning three. On offense for the Lady Rebels (7-4), Aubrey Williams and Taylor Searle both led the way with two hits each, with Williams recording a double.

A complete box score was not made available to report upon publication.

Cuba-Rushford is back on the field Wednesday night over the road in Friendship, as they take on Friendship/Scio in a 5 p.m. first pitch.

Arkport/Canaseraga 9, Fillmore 5

FILLMORE — The Lady Eagles of Fillmore put the pieces to the puzzle together early on, Saturday afternoon against Arkport/Canaseraga. With a two-run lead in hand, they were in control of their own destiny.

But the Lady Wolves had other plans in store as the game went on, with a dynamic close to the afternoon from Grace Groves in the circle leading the charge for the offense and special teams to build off of it, as they posted the game’s final six runs in a row to take their first lead and hold it permanently, securing a 9-5 comeback win over the Lady Eagles.

All five runs for the Lady Eagles (3-8) were posted in the first three innings of play, starting with the game’s opening run before building more onto their foundation with a three-run second frame to take a 4-0 lead on Arkport/Canaseraga.

The Lady Wolves would manage to trim the deficit down to a single run with a three-run response in the top of the third before Fillmore pushed the advantage back out to a pair in the bottom half. That would be all for the Lady Eagles on offense, as Groves helped the defense buckle in for the last four innings, tossing shutout frames in each one while the offense capitalized on all fronts with six unanswered runs to overtake the lead for good.

Groves would finish with the complete game win, fanning 10 Fillmore batters. At the plate, the offense was held to three hits — one each from Autumn Frechette, Nicole Merry and Morgan Gilbert.

As for the Lady Eagles, they accumulated nine hits on offense, with Mattie McCumiskey leading the efforts with a 3-for-4 outing. Mylee Miller chipped in with two hits, while Oakley Frazier, Delaney Hillman, Skylar Gaddy and Kylee Ellsworth all had a hit each to chip in.

In the circle, Miller fanned six and walked five in her relief appearance.

Fillmore is back on their home field Tuesday night with a 5 p.m. visit from Franklinville.

Arkport/Canaseraga 003 024 0 – 9 3 2

Fillmore 131 000 0 – 5 9 7

A/C – Grace Groves (WP) (CG, 10K) and Nicole Merry.

FIL – Mercedes Wolcott (3K, 2BB), Mylee Miller (LP, 4) (6K, 5BB) and Jenna Austin.

Alfred-Almond 10, Andover/Whitesville 1

ANDOVER — Through a tight battle in the early stages, Isabel Badeau provided a tremendous outing for the Lady Eagles of Alfred-Almond to syphon off of, hurling five consecutive shutout innings to keep host Andover/Whitesville off the board while on the attack, they would score 10 runs in a row, the majority of which scratching across in the late stages to pull away towards what would be a 10-1 win in Andover, Saturday afternoon.

The Lady Eagles would use three key hits in the first three innings to drive home their first three runs, beginning with an RBI single from Olivia Flaitz in the team’s opening at-bats to break the ice right away. The offense would now freeze until the third when they added onto their lead with a pair, stemming off an RBI triple from Taylor Flaitz, and shortly after, an RBI single from Badeau to take a 3-0 lead.

For the rest of the game, Alfred-Almond would use their special teams on the bases to help produce their last seven runs of the game, capitalizing on key steals along with miscues in the field from Andover/Whitesville (0-8) to scratch across their final runs.

The shutout would be eliminated by the hosts in blue and purple in the bottom of the sixth however, as Kennedy Bledsoe drove in the team’s lone run on a single. The hit was one of five the team would record in all, with Aislinn Hamilton posting two, including a double.

In the circle, Olivia Waters struck out four and walked five in her six-inning start for Andover/Whitesville, who will now travel to Avoca/Prattsburgh for a 5 p.m. contest on Monday.

Alfred-Almond 102 025 0 – 10 8 1

Andover/Whitesville 000 001 0 – 1 5 6

A-A – Isabel Badeau (WP) (CG, 9K, BB) and Ali Hurd.

A/W – Olivia Waters (LP) (4K, 5BB), Emma Nelson (7) and Gabbi Hall.

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