WHITINGHAM- Last week, Twin Valley softball manager Aaron Wood said that his team needed to vastly improve their fielding and pitching, after giving up 40 runs in the team’s first three games. This week, the Wildcats turned the tables on their opponents, using accurate, concentrated pitching and a stingy defense to silence the Mount St. Joseph Green Wave in a low-scoring defensive battle.
Jordan Niles got the start for the Wildcats and kept her team in the game, while their bats were kept silent by an equally good MSJ defense. The Green Wave got one run in on Niles in the top of the second inning, but Twin Valley came back in the top of the fourth to take the lead, 2-1. Mount St. Joseph tied it up at two in the fifth, but a bottom-of-the-sixth lead-off triple by Savannah Nesbitt put the Wildcats in prime position to take the game back. Christina Moore stepped to the plate and hit a triple of her own, allowing Nesbitt to score the go-ahead run, and her own run scored for good measure, to take a 4-2 lead.
In the top of the seventh, the Wildcats bent but they would not break. Niles faced bases loaded with no outs when Wood decided to relieve her, and put in Colton Butler to stem the tide. Butler wound up, struck out the first two batters, forced a ground out for the third, and Twin Valley came out on top.
“We’re definitely moving in the right direction,” said Wood. “The defense and bats are starting to come around, and the pitching is a lot better. We’re on the upswing, and I hope they keep it going.”
TV 12 Poultney 3
WHITINGHAM- The Wildcat girls’ softball team has had few chances to play for a home crowd this season, and with one game already postponed due to field conditions this week, they took advantage of a wind-whipped Tuesday afternoon, cruising to victory over the Poultney Blue Devils.
It took an inning for Colton Butler to figure out her plan of attack, but after walking her first two batters, and giving up a single to load the bases, the Wildcats’ starting pitcher started to throw consistently and dominate. Butler struck out two looking for the final two outs of the inning, while her defense only allowed one Blue Devil runner to score on a fielding error. It took the Wildcat batters a bit longer to work out the kinks of their game plan as Savannah Nesbitt was thrown out at third trying to steal after a promising lead-off double, and two pop flies ended the inning.
In the second, the Wildcats got closer when Jordan Niles loaded the bases with a perfect bunt with no outs. Two strikeouts and a ground-out later, the Wildcats were still down, but a three-up-three-down inning by the Wildcat defense left the deficit at 1-0.
In the third, the Wildcats broke loose as batter after batter found their way on base, five batters collected RBIs, and the Wildcats took over the game, 7-1. Sammy Cunningham-Darrah saw the batter’s box twice, racking up two RBIs, a double, and a single in the inning, while Nesbitt had two singles. Both teams had a quiet fourth inning, but the Blue Devils began to inch their way back in the fifth.
After a first, quick groundout, Twin Valley found trouble stopping the Poultney batters, and coach Aaron Wood relieved Butler with one out, bases loaded, and three runs already in. Niles came in to pitch and forced the two popouts the team needed to end the rally.
Twin Valley increased the cushion again in the fifth inning as Cunningham-Darrah collected another RBI, scoring Nesbitt for an 8-3 lead, and the Wildcat girls never turned back. Niles held the Blue Devils scoreless in the final two innings while the Twin Valley bats knocked in four more runs for a big 12-4 victory.
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TOWNSHEND- Hannah Swanson hit an over-the-fence home run for the Wildcats, but a lack of offensive production led to a 12-2 defeat Wednesday night at Leland & Gray. With the loss, the Wildcats ended the week with a 3-3 record, and will face Black River on Saturday at 11 am.