GRAFTON— The Lady Bearcat softball team improved their record to 7-1 over the weekend, playing back-to-back games in the 3rd Annual Bearcat Bash, sponsored this year, by Toothman Ford.
According to head coach Tyler Cox, the Bearcat Bash is an annual event in which Grafton hosts other teams for tournament style play.
Because of COVID-19, this year’s bash had to be limited to just three teams; Grafton, Preston and Wirt.
“We already have two other teams that want to come and join into what we have to offer for the event next year,” shared Cox.
The Bearcat Bash got underway on a beautiful sunny Saturday with the Lady Cats taking on the Lady Knights of Present County.
Starting out at the plate against the Lady Knights, the Lady Bearcats would once again find victory with an outstanding team performance.
Senior Aubree Collins opened scoring for Grafton, tripling on the first pitch, and she would remain a key factor in the Lady Bearcat’s 14-4 win over Preston.
Collins refused to be denied at the plate. In addition to her opening triple, she knocked in a triple in the third and fourth innings as well, resulting in four Grafton runs on three hits.
The game slowed for the Cats in the second inning, but the team quickly got back into the swing of things, scoring two runs in the third from Collins and Fredrique Maloley, but it would be the fourth inning that ultimately secured the victory for Grafton.
During the fourth inning of the game, the Lady Bearcats drove in nine runs, one of which belonged to senior Mia Chambers, who made her season debut at the Bearcat Bash after being out the first portion of the season recovering from an injury.
Kaileigh Spiker, Amber Smith, Collins, Jade Hall and Savanna Wyckoff also contributed to the fourth inning scoring.
While the Lady Knights managed to knock in four runs in the fifth inning, it wouldn’t be enough to overcome the Lady Bearcats.
And not only did Chambers score a run for her team, but she led them to the win in pitching, lasting for five inning, allowing only four hits and three runs, and striking out eight.
“She had a great outing and a wonderful start to the season for her,” Cox commented. “We are glad to have her back on the field for us.”
Next up, the Lady Cats took on Wirt County, quickly securing their second win of the Bearcat Bash, tallying 10 runs in the first inning.
The stellar first inning performance was a collaborative effort of Hall and Wyckoff who went for singles; Ashlyn Zbonsnik and Maloley knocking doubles; a triple by Collins and a home run also by Maloley.
Maloley went on to have an outstanding game, driving five on three hits, and earning three runs.
She was also the winning pitcher. The right hander went five innings allowing seven hits and two runs, while striking out ten Wirt County batters sealing the 12-2 victory for the Lady Bearcats.
“Fredrique had a really strong showing in our game against Wirt. She and Mia pitched great on the day. Fred and Aubree also had multiple extra base hits for the day. We had a great day at the plate all together; everyone was hitting the ball well and we made some tremendous defensive plays also,” shared Cox.
And he added once more that this great day of softball was made possible due to the kindness of JR Toothman, of Toothman Ford in Grafton.
“Because of JR’s dedication to the youth of Taylor County and support of softball, we can provide opportunities to our players and to those from other schools. Thank you JR and to all of those at Toothman Ford,” Cox expressed.
Individual Box Scores (GHS vs. Preston):
K. Spiker: AB-3, R-2, H-2, RBI-2, BB-1, SO-0, A. Wyer- AB-1, R-0, H-1, RBI-1, BB-0,SO-0, A. Smith: AB-3, R-2, H-2, RBI-1, BB-0, SO-0, F. Maloley: AB-4, R,1,H-1, RBI-0, BB-0, SO-0, A. Collins: AB-3, R-3, H-3, RBI-4, BB-0, SO-0, M. Chambers: AB-2, R-3, H-1, RBI-1, BB-0, SO-0, G. Purkey: AB-2, R-1, H-1,RBI-0, BB-0, SO-0, J. Hall: AB-3, R-1,H-1, RBI-1,BB-0, SO-0, S. Wyckoff: AB-2, R-2, H-1, RBI-1,BB-0, SO-1, A. Zbosnik: AB-3, R-1,H-1, RBI-0, BB-0, SO-0, J. Niggemyer: AB-0, R-1, H-0,RBI-0,BB-0,SO-0
Team Box Scores (GHS vs Preston): AB-26, R-14, H-14, RBI-11, BB-1, S-1
Individual Box Scores (GHS vs Wirt):
K. Spiker: AB-2, R-1, H-0, RBI-0, BB-1, SO-2, A. Wyer- AB-0, R-1, H-0, RBI-0, BB-0,SO-0, A. Smith: AB-2, R-1, H-0, RBI-0, BB-0, SO-0, F. Maloley: AB-3, R-3,H-3, RBI-5, BB-0, SO-0, A. Collins: AB-3, R-1, H-2, RBI-1, BB-0, SO-0, G. Purkey: AB-2, R-1, H-0,RBI-0, BB-1, SO-0, J. Hall: AB-3, R-1,H-2, RBI-2,BB-0, SO-0, S. Wyckoff: AB-3, R-1, H-1, RBI-1,BB-0, SO-1, A. Zbosnik: AB-2, R-1,H-1, RBI-2, BB-0, SO-0
Team Box Scores (GHS vs Wirt): AB- 22, R-12, H, 10, RBI-12, BB-4, SO-5