Wildcats softball team has rocky start
by Jack Deming
Apr 25, 2014 | 1942 views | 0 0 comments | 80 80 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Twin Valley Wildcats softball team began their season with a big win and even bigger bats, tallying 17 runs in their first outing. But just like that, they went cold, and the ‘Cats defense could find no solution for stopping the West Rutland Golden Horde on Wednesday night.

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WOODSTOCK- At the beginning of the year, Twin Valley coach Aaron Wood said that his softball team would have no problem competing as one of the top offensive units in the state. In their opening game, his players proved him right, blasting off for 17 runs, while a stellar defensive effort provided backup for some struggles on the mound.

Kaylea Niles led the Wildcats from the plate, going 3-4 with two RBIs to help the Wildcats take a 9-0 lead through the first two innings. The ‘Cats would run into trouble on the mound in the third inning as starting pitcher Abby Putnam’s shutout bid was blown up with six runs by a resurgent Wasps team.

Senior Jordan Niles relieved Putnam with the bases loaded and pitched the final five innings, allowing four runs. Wood said that throwing strikes was the one thing the Wildcats needed to do, and at times this would prove to be a tough task as each pitcher could only find one K on the afternoon.

“We’ve got to find someone to throw strikes,” said Wood, “but we played really good defense considering the fact we hadn’t been practicing outside.”

Putnam had a better day at the plate, however, knocking home a team-high four RBIs, while second baseman Colton Butler went 1-2 with an RBI, and shortstop Savannah Nesbitt, who missed last year with an injury, hit the team’s only home run, which would tally two more runs.

Wood was happy to get an opening day win under his team’s belts, and had praise for the Niles sisters’ play defensively, on the mound, and at the plate. Wood also said his expectations continue to be high as tough matchups loom ahead. “We’re taking it one game at a time,” said Wood. “We expect to win every time we go out, and we have some good tests coming up. If we can find someone to throw strikes we’ll be right there at the end of the year.”

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WEST RUTLAND- Two days after their 17-run victory, the Wildcat bats were ice cold in the windy and chilly elements of Wednesday afternoon’s matchup at West Rutland. Nothing seemed to go right for manager Aaron Wood’s team as a combination of poor defense, a lack of strikes, and ice cold hitting left his team down early.

In the first two innings the Golden Horde scored seven runs off Abby Putnam who got her second start on the mound. Putnam’s defense provided no relief against the Golden Horde’s hot bats, and a mixture of walks and errors helped the Horde take a 7-0 lead after two. Colton Butler relieved Putnam for the final three innings, throwing three strikeouts, and giving up nine runs, some of which were again unearned.

Twin Valley had no luck against West Rutland pitcher Kaelynn Reopell until the fifth inning when they loaded the bases on singles and walks. Reopell threw another walk, which allowed Jessica Fox to score Twin Valley’s only run of the game.

“We had poor defense,’ said Wood. “They allowed too many runs scored, and on offense we left some of our base runners in position.”

Wood is most concerned about the number of walks his pitchers give up (16 on Wednesday night), as well as the play in the infield and outfield. He also said that he expects his team’s defensive play will improve as they get more games under their belt, having had no practice outside during the spring.

The Wildcats are now 1-1 on the year and play today at 4:30 pm at Bellows Falls.
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