Clay, Northwest softball pick up wins


By Kevin Colley - kcolley@civitasmedia.com



SOFTBALL

Northwest 8, Valley 0

The Northwest Lady Mohawks grabbed a big SOC II conference victory on Tuesday evening by defeating the Valley Lady Indians, 8-0, in a contest that was played in McDermott.

Megan Shultz, Addisyn Newman, and Laiken Rice continued their excellent hitting at the top of the order as the trio combined to go 6-for-11 at the plate, while Newman, Shultz, and Rice, along with Alexis Lute and Hope Sheppard, all scored at least one run and stole at least one base on the evening.

In addition to her offensive exploits, Rice provided excellent work on the mound by throwing a complete game three-hitter and striking out nine to lead Northwest to the win.

Margaret Caldwell, Marissa Markins, and Makenzie Spencer each recorded at least one hit, with Spencer collecting a double to lead Valley. Markins, who combined with Destiny Gardner to nab three stolen bases, also collected six strikeouts while pitching in relief.

Northwest hosted Clay on Wednesday and will also host Oak Hill on Thursday, with the latter affair serving as Senior Night, before finishing up with Mowrystown Whiteoak on Friday in Mowrystown. Valley will host Minford on Thursday.

Clay 11, Symmes Valley 1 (F/5)

While Northwest and Valley clashed in an SOC II bout, the Clay Lady Panthers handled their business further southeast by defeating the Symmes Valley Lady Vikings in mercy-rule fashion, 11-1, to officially complete the SOC I slate with an unblemished 14-0 mark.

Clay, who improved to 21-1 overall with the victory, was led by Julia Swain, who threw five complete innings of three-hit, one-run softball. The junior struck out seven and walked only one en route to the win.

Swain, who gave up her only run in the first inning of play, also led Clay at the dish by going 3-for-3 with two RBI and three runs scored. Lila Brown, Jensen Warnock, and Cassidy Wells each went 2-for-3, with Wells’ double and two RBI Warnock’s pair of runs scored, and Brown’s double and two runs scored fueling the Clay offensive attack.

Elisa Collins joined the aforementioned quartet in the multi-hit column by going 2-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored to aid the Panthers along, while Shaelynn Vassar, Bre Donahoe, and Hannah Oliver each notched a hit. Oliver drove in a run, Donahoe drove in two additional Clay runners, and Vassar, who scored a run earlier in the game, capped off the performance off with a walkoff double in the fifth that plated a run.

Clay played at Northwest on Wednesday evening and will finish the year by playing a doubleheader at Unioto against the homestanding Sherman Tanks, as well as Albany Alexander.

BASEBALL

Notre Dame 3, Wellston 3 (F/10)

In a rather rare occurrence, the Notre Dame Titans battled back from a one-run deficit entering the bottom of the seventh inning to tie a nonconference bout with the Wellston Golden Rockets, 3-3, after the game was called due to darkness following the top of the 10th inning.

Notre Dame was led by an excellent effort from Tyler Speas, who threw eight and a third innings of five-hit baseball while striking out four Wellston batters against the Division III-sized Golden Rockets. Speas also went 1-for-4 at the dish from his cleanup position with a RBI and a run scored.

At the plate, Drew Cassidy and CJ Corns led the Titans by accumulating three hits apiece, with Corns going 3-for-4 with a RBI, a walk, and a run scored and Cassidy going 3-for-5 with a run scored. Sam Kayser also collected a multi-hit day by going 2-for-5 from his leadoff position.

“I believe that we are starting to hit the ball like we should and are capable of,” Notre Dame head coach Drew Mader said. “Our players are believing in themselves and understanding that they cannot win the game with one swing and that it takes a complete team effort to drive runs across.”

Cameron Rodriguez, Grant Sparks, Truman Hash, and Hunter Berry each joined Speas by collecting one hit apiece, with Berry — a junior who has made improvements in his game — drawing a pair of walks and going 1-for-1 on the day. Rodriguez scored two runs from the two-hole, while Sparks drove in a run on his lone hit of the affair.

“Players who struggled early in the season are beginning to find their groove and are putting a good swing on the ball,” Mader said. “One thing that has been good for our team is our discipline at the plate and our ability to draw walks behind that discipline, which results in a pitcher’s pitch count growing as the game goes along.”

Notre Dame hosted Minford on Wednesday and will finish its SOC I slate on Thursday with a home bout against Western in what will be a makeup affair.

Symmes Valley 3, Clay 1

After taking nine out of their last 10 affairs, the Clay Panthers just couldn’t get untracked as a strong pitching effort by Symmes Valley’s Laykin Gothard allowed the Vikings to triumph over the Panthers, 3-1, in a SOC I conference bout that was played at Symmes Valley on Tuesday evening.

Despite strong efforts on the hill by Brody Riffe, who struck out seven batters and allowed just three hits over five innings, and Keith Cottle, who threw an inning of one-hit baseball in relief, along with a Clay defense that didn’t commit an error all game long, the Panthers could only muster three hits against Gothard, who struck out seven batters and only walked one en route to the win.

“It was a tough loss (on Tuesday),” Clay head coach Marc Cottle said. “Brody pitched well enough to win, but when you only score one run, it’s tough to win most games. (Laykin) Gothard pitched a heck of a game for Symmes Valley. We will try to regroup and get ready for the postseason next week.”

Dakota Dodds, McGwire Garrison, and Reece Whitley each recorded a hit for Clay to lead the Panthers offensively. Grant Hempill drove in Clay’s only run of the game on an RBI groundout, while Cole Gilliland drew one walk to round out the Panthers’ efforts offensively.

Clay will play at Rock Hill on Friday evening in what will be the last regular season game for the Panthers.

By Kevin Colley

kcolley@civitasmedia.com

Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7

Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7