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Braves shut down Knights, earn non-conference win

CATCH: Southwood’s Olivia Adams positions under a flyball to make a catch in the outfield during the Knights’ game against Maconaquah on Wednesday

By Trent Scott - tscott@perutribune.com

BUNKER HILL – Washouts over the last week led to Southwood and Maconaquah adding a pre-conference softball game to the ledger Wednesday evening.

The Knights held an early lead but were soon knocked down by Carra Wolf, who picked up her first varsity pitching win and plated six runs in a 13-2 Braves win.

Southwood head coach Carl Pace said the girls ran into a fast arm in Wolf and couldn’t make the changes needed quick enough to get into the game.

“We faced a very good squad,” Pace said. “Carra threw the ball hard and was probably the hardest pitcher we’ve seen this year.

“We couldn’t adjust and if you can’t get more than a hit, you’re not going to win many ball games.”

Southwood got off to a solid start with a run in the top of the first after Kassity Simpson drew a walk, was moved over on a Madelyn Turner sac bunt and scored when MaKenna Pace’s grounder to second was booted.

Wolf walked Tabitha Thomas to put two on but struck out the next two batters to get out of the jam.

Maconaquah answered in the bottom half of the inning as Shelby Spence doubled to lead off and came in on Lexi DiBattiste’s single.

Pace said the hosts built off the early hits in the bottom of the inning.

“We felt good about the early lead,” Pace noted. “We felt if we could come out and shut (Maconaquah) down, we’d be in a good spot.

“Instead, they came out with some bloop hits and tie the game back up. Those hits set the tone for them.”

The hosts added a second run in the second inning after Josie Pyke scored on a passed ball and broke the game open in the third inning.

DiBattiste and Holly Morris scored on a deep Wolf sac fly to make the score 4-1 before a two-out rally gave the Braves breathing room.

Hits from Andrea Selleck, Savanna Miracle, Pyke and Hayleigh Cole plated three additional runs, giving the hosts a 7-1 lead.

“Once Maconaquah got through the phase of getting the dink hits, they started crushing the ball,” Pace said about Maconaquah’s hitting in the inning. “We moved our defense accordingly to try to account for that but it didn’t matter.

“Some days you’re the bug and some days the windshield. We just happened to be the bug today.”

Southwood got another run in when Wolf walked Olivia Adams after Thomas, Keegan Simpson and Makayla Bechtold drew free passes but could not do any more damage.

Maconaquah did not have the same problem, adding a pair of runs in the inning off a Wolf single and scoring two more off of errors to bring the game to 11-2.

Pace singled, breaking up Wolf’s no-hit bid, and reached second base in the top of the fifth but the Knights couldn’t get her in, giving the Braves the chance to end the game in the bottom half of the inning.

Wolf would apply the coup de grace, belting a two-run home run off of Kassity Simpson to finish the game with a bang.

Southwood faced Southern Wells Thursday night and travels to Whitko for the start of TRC softball next Wednesday.

Despite the defeat, Pace said the girls were upbeat and wanted to get right back out on the field again.

“Coming off a big win Tuesday, we told the girls it’s a season of ups-and-downs and we want to be in the middle,” Pace said. “We told them we’d go to sleep and get ready for (Thursday’s) game against Southern Wells.

“The girls are enthusiastic about playing and they’re ready to get back it. They can feel the warm weather coming which means more softball to be played.”

 

At Maconaquah

Southwood 100 10 — 2 1 4

Maconaquah 115 42 — 13 16 1

WP — Wolf (1-0) CG (5), H, 2 R (1 ER), 6 BB, HBP, 9 K

LP — Pace (2-2) 4 IP, 13 H, 11 R (8 ER), 3 BB, 2 K

HR — Wolf (1)

2B — Cole, Miracle, Spence, Morris

RBI — Adams; Wolf (6), Cole, Pyke, Miracle, Spence, Morris

Next Game: Southwood (2-2) hosts Whitko (3-1) next Wednesday at 5 p.m.