Poultney struck in the top of the first inning. After two straight outs on a bunt attempt and a line drive to the mound, a walk followed by an RBI triple put the Blue Devils up by one. From that point on it was all Wildcat red and gray.
Twin Valley began their attack slow, tying the game in the first when Niles stole third base, then home on a wild pitch. The Wildcats added three more in the second after a one-two-three-out inning from Poultney. Hannah Swanson stole three bases of her own including home, and Lexi Reinertson and Sammy Cunningham-Darrah each added RBIs to make it 4-1. Colton Butler grounded out to first to strand three batters and end the scoring onslaught.
Putnam’s stellar performance from the mound was backed by a defensive effort that featured textbook play mixed with selfless contributions all game. Putting it plainly, the Wildcat girls were on their “A” game Tuesday afternoon, as Cunningham-Darrah pounced on bunt attempts and Niles added a huge play, getting the second of three straight outs with a diving, stretching catch in the left-centerfield gap.
Leading 5-1 in the bottom of the fourth, the Wildcats continued to pour it on as Veronika Vernon hit a two-RBI single, and Niles scored one of her three runs to make it 8-1. Butler would strand no one with her fourth appearance at the plate, lining a shot to right field and scoring her second in-the-park home run of the season to make it a 10-run game. Swanson knocked home Vernon for the 12th run of the day.
The Wildcats would give up one run in the top of the seventh, but as they jogged to the victory huddle, the Wildcats looked confident and poised, two traits they will need to carry over to Thursday’s game against visiting Mount St. Joseph. The Wildcats will try for three wins in a row for the first time since the beginning of the season.
If Twin Valley wins their next two, they’ll host a first round playoff game. This is a feat coach Aaron Wood is confident his squad can achieve, if they listen to his season-long mantra of no walks, no errors, good defense. “We need to keep playing defense like we did (against Poultney),” said Wood. “We did a great job of not walking their girls, and if we do that and don’t make errors, we can beat anyone.”
Mount St. Joseph visits Twin Valley at the middle school field at 4:30 today.