Coming into last Thursday’s softball contest at North Adams High School, the West Union Lady Dragons certainly had something to prove. The Lady Dragons and Lady Devils had met just three days earlier on West Union’s home field and it had been an embarrassing day for the home team as North Adams handed them an 18-1 defeat. On Thursday, the Lady Dragons hoped to prove that they were a much better team than that Monday outing showed.
Even though the Thursday game still ended up in a North Adams win, it was a much different scene this time around as the Lady Dragons put up a tough battle, before dropping a one-run decision to North Adams 3-2 in a well-played game accentuated by fine pitching performances from West Union’s Mary Hinton and North Adams’ Jade Spriggs.
“West Union certainly came ready to play today,” said North Adams head coach Kelly Boerger. “It was a tight game from beginning to end but my girls did what I asked and stepped up their defense.”
“We reduced the number of our errors and that is what allowed us to come away with the win.”
It was the Lady Dragons who drew first blood on Thursday afternoon as they got a run on the board in the top of the first, with Natasha Barr leading off with a base hit to right and coming around to score on a North Adams error, one of only two the Lady Devils committed on the day.
North Adams came back in the bottom of the first, doing all their damage after Hinton retired the first two hitters and getting a pair of unearned runs. Kylie Branch reached on an error and later came home on a base hit by Caitlin Young. Young then crossed the plate on a base hit by Meygan Richter and the Lady Devils were in front 2-1.
The home side added one to their lead in the bottom of the second when Karly Boerger singled and came home on a base hit by Spriggs, making it 3-1.
From that point on, pitching and defense took over as the two girls in the center circle combined to fire eight consecutive scoreless half innings. After surrendering a second inning single to Emily Wilson, Spriggs retired the next 15 West Union hitters, while Hinton matched her inning for inning, allowing just two base runners over that four-inning stretch.
With one out in the top of the seventh, West Union’s Alisa Boldman took a Spriggs pitch to right center for a two-base hit and after Emily Wilson reached on a fielder’s choice, a base hit by Kelsey Young brought Boldman home and left the go-ahead runs on base with center fielder Brittany Caldwell coming to the plate. Spriggs got Caldwell to pop out to first baseman Kylie Branch for the game’s final out as the Lady Devils escaped with a 3-2 win in a well-played, sharp game from both teams.
Both pitchers turned in superb outings, each only allowing four hits, with Spriggs striking out six and Hinton four. The West Union senior hurler took the loss, but deserved better as none of the three runs she allowed were earned runs. The same was the case for Spriggs as she gave up two runs, both unearned.
Both squads began postseason play this week with the Lady Dragons hosting Adena on Tuesday and the Lady Devils getting a 4-2 win over Eastern Pike in their sectional opener on Monday. (Read about that contest in a future issue of The People’s Defender.)
Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.
100 000 1 —2
210 000 x —3
W. Union Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): N. Barr 3-1-1-0, C. Barr 3-0-0-0, Grooms 3-0-0-0, Hinton 3-0-0-0, Howard 3-0-0-0, Boldman 3-1-1-0, Wilson 3-0-1-0, Young 3-01-1-, Caldwell 3-0-0-0, Team 27-2-4-1.
Extra-Base Hits: Boldman 2B
N. Adams Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Spriggs 3-0-1-1, Taylor 3-0-0-0, Branch 3-1-0-0, Young 3-1-1-1, Richter 3-0-1-1, T. Whited 2-0-0-0, Bunn 1-0-0-0, Neal 1-0-0-0, Dunseith 0-0-0-0, Boerger 1-1-1-0, Crews 2-0-0-0, Team 22-3-4-3.
W. Union Pitching: Hinton (L) 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
N. Adams Pitching: Spriggs (W) 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K