Clay units, West softball claim victories


By Kevin Colley - kcolley@aimmediamidwest.com



BASEBALL

Friday (3/30)

Clay 10, Western 0 (F/5)

Behind a one-hit showing on the hill from Keith Cottle, the Clay Panthers’ baseball program faced no trouble in dispatching of the Western Indians’ baseball program by a 10-0 mercy rule in five innings on Friday evening in Rosemount.

Cottle, who struck out six batters in five innings of work, threw 40 of his 53 pitches for strikes en route to the complete game showing. The senior also collected a hit — that being a double — in two at-bats, drew a walk, stole a base, and scored a pair of runs while driving in three himself to lead the Clay offensive output from the two-hole. Three-hole hitter Jaden Jessee collected two hits in three at-bats and drove in three runs for the Panthers to join Cottle in the multi-hit parade. Dakota Dodds (1-for-2, walk, RBI), Tanner Richards (1-for-1, walk, RBI, two runs scored), Shaden Malone (1-for-2, stolen base, run scored), and Evan Woods (1-for-1, run scored) all added hits for Clay on the evening.

“Keith was very efficient on the mound today with a 75 percent strike ratio,” Clay head coach Marc Cottle said. “I try to stress to our pitchers that pitching to contact is the most effective strategy with bbcore bats and he excelled at that today. Jaden, Keith, Dakota, and Tanner Richards had very good days at the plate.”

As solid as Clay was in the pitching and the hitting departments, it was the baserunning and overall plate discipline where the Panthers really shined. Reece Whitley and Bradley McCleese, along with Cottle, Malone, and Woods, allowed Clay to steal six bases in seven attempts for a strong 83 percent mark — with Whitley going a perfect 2-for-2 in his attempts. To add onto those efforts, McCleese, Whitley, Dylan Collett, and Noah Wright, along with Cottle, Dodds, and Richards, all drew walk to allow Clay to put together another compete performance in the win.

“We are pleased with our start to the season, but we will see where we stand tomorrow when we play Portsmouth,” Cottle said. “They are well coached and will be a big challenge for our kids.”

SOFTBALL

Clay 10, Western 0 (F/5)

Behind an explosive offensive attack that scored multiple runs in every inning at the plate, as well as a combined two-hitter from Hannah Oliver and Julia Swain, the Clay Panthers’ softball program claimed victory over the Western Indians’ softball program as Clay moved to 2-0 on the year with a 10-0 mercy-rule victory over Western on Friday evening in Rubyville.

Offensively, Elisa Collins’ dependable hitting with runners on base led the Lady Panthers as Collins ultimately went 2-for-3 with four RBI and a run scored. Lila Brown’s 2-for-3 day at the dish with a run scored, along with Oliver (2-for-3, double, two runs scored), and Swain (2-for-2, sacrifice fly, two RBI, run scored) all set the table for the Clay offense.

Jensen Warnock (1-for-3, double, run scored), Shaelyn Vassar (1-for-2, stolen base, walk, two runs scored), Cassidy Wells (1-for-3, run scored), and Shaley Munion (1-for-2, RBI) all collected a hit for Clay while Abby Ware scored a run and Megan Bazler drove another run across to score to round out the offensive efforts for the Lady Panthers.

In the circle, Oliver and Swain — the former pitching three innings and the latter throwing two innings of her own — combined to collect seven strikeouts while only walking one batter in all.

Clay (2-0) played Ironton and Coal Grove in the Battle of the Hill Showcase at Rock Hill on Saturday evening.

West 11, South Webster 0 (F/6)

Behind an offensive explosion in the latter innings of an SOC II affair, the West Senators’ softball program (1-1, 1-0) scored its first SOC II victory over the South Webster Jeeps’ softball program (1-2, 0-1), 11-1, in six innings in a conference battle that was played in South Webster.

Haivan Dillow, who led the offensive charge by going 3-for-4 with a double, a stolen base, four RBI, and a run scored, put together arguably the best performance of her high school career by heading the West output, which scored four runs in the fifth inning and five runs in the sixth frame. Makayla White’s 3-for-3 output with a walk, three stolen bases, and three runs scored allowed the senior to join Dillow in the multi-hit column.

Abbi Pack (1-for-2, walk, RBI, two runs scored), Taylor Coleman (1-for-3, walk, two runs scored), and Morgan Rigsby (1-for-3, RBI, sacrifice) joined the aforementioned duo in the hit column, while Madison Cochran (three RBI, two runs scored), Laney Ayers and Sammy Tatman (one walk apiece), and Daisy Holsinger (run scored) all contributed to the cause.

Coleman, who improved to 1-1 on the year as the team’s starting hand in the circle, proved to be strong once again as the senior threw a complete-game five-hitter while striking out four and walking none to seal the victory.

Gwen Messer, Bell Messer, Taylor Rawlins, Kelsi Twaddle, and Kaylee Hadinger each collected one hit apiece for the Lady Jeeps in the loss, with the former of the quintet collecting 10 strikeouts in her own complete game effort on the bump. South Webster only trailed 2-0 after four innings of play.

South Webster will host Northwest on Monday evening while West will play host to Wheelersburg on the same day.

By Kevin Colley

kcolley@aimmediamidwest.com

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

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