There was no letting up for the West Jefferson softball team as it stepped outside of the Mid-State League Ohio Division to play a good Division I softball squad in Whetstone Thursday, April 18.
West Jeff had been red-hot at the plate heading into the non-league tilt and the Roughfiders (7-2, 5-0) continued their torrid pace as they scored 14 runs, collected 11 hits and thoroughly dominated the host Braves (4-4) in a 14-0 run-rule shortened game.
“The girls played wonderful ball tonight, they’re in a zone right now and we need to keep them that way,” West Jeff coach Jim Stevens said.
You kind of got a hint of what kind of night it was going to be for the Roughriders right from the beginning as Taylor Bowman led off the game with a towering home run to centerfield. Madison Gatley followed with a solo home run of her own to left. The team went on to score three more runs in the frame and led 5-0.
Those were more than enough runs for starting pitcher Annie Haenszel. She limited the Braves to just three runs, but more importantly she walked just one batter. When she’s able to throw strikes, let the defense behind her make plays West Jeff is capable of big things.
“We hit the ball very well against them,” Stevens said. “The girls are playing great ball, we just need to stay focused and keep going. Annie threw another great game, she had one walk and has had only two in the last two games. She’s really starting to come into her game.”
The Roughriders will host Briggs and old nemesis Liberty Union in a doubleheader Saturday, April 19. The team will get back into MSL Ohio league play at 5:15 p.m. Monday, April 21, when it plays at second-place London.
“We’re pretty fired up about or game right now,” Stevens said. “If we keep playing like we are, the future is pretty bright.”
The Red Raiders (6-5, 4-1) picked up a key MSL Ohio victory Thursday, April 17, at Grandview and stayed right in the league championship race.
London trails league-leading West Jefferson by a game and will get their first shot at the Roughriders at 5:15 p.m. Monday, April 21.
Things didn’t start so well for the Raiders as they surrendered five runs in the bottom of the first inning. But instead of panicking the team stayed focused and chipped away before finally gaining the upperhand in the top of the fourth inning.
London scored 10 runs in the frame and was ahead comfortably 12-5 as the game entered the later innings.
Lauren Miller not only picked up the win inside the circle, she added a single and a triple at the plate and collected a pair of RBI. Shelby Long had a double and four RBI, while Alicia Baldwin picked up a couple hits and drove in a pair of runs of her own.
Grandview committed nine errors in the game, which allowed the Raiders to erase the early deficit.
The Monarchs are widely considered the best softball team in Central Ohio and the Golden Eagles of Madison-Plains got an up close view in a pair of humbling defeats Thursday, April 17.
Plains (5-5) managed to score one run and scratch across just two hits (one in each game) in the two games combined. The host Monarchs in contrast had 32 hits combined.
Chris Miles can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 18 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.