Timely hits lift 'Dogs over Indians
Taking advantage of a few errors and collecting a few timely hits, Gridley High's softball team held off visiting Marysville, 6-4, on Wednesday.
“We're starting to mature,” Bulldogs coach Elmer Brock said, noting all but two of the Gridley players are juniors and most have been playing varsity ball since they were freshmen.
It also helped that this was Gridley's (3-2) fifth game of the season, as compared to the Indians, who were playing in their first contest.
“We've had three games canceled because of the weather,” Marysville coach Art Bartolome said. “We've been practicing between rain drops.”
Bartolome said the Indians mostly have been practicing indoors, hitting whiffle balls and doing repetitious ground-ball drills. They haven't had much of an opportunity to practice defense on a field, and it showed.
“Our shortstop, who normally doesn't make any errors, had two,” Bartolome said.
The Indians also didn't have much of an opportunity to practice fielding bunts, Bartolome continued, adding the Bulldogs laid down several and his girls had a hard time fielding them.
“We're still a little ragged,” Bartolome said. “But, we'll get better.”
The Indians jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Alex Tanner got aboard on a passed ball and moved to second on another passed ball. Jordan Boom then rapped an infield single to shortstop and promptly stole second. One out later, Jessie Brown walked to load the bases.
Kaitlyn Irwin followed with a ground ball that rolled under the Gridley shortstop's glove, scoring both runs.
The Bulldogs got one of the runs back in the last half of the first when Jessica Kirby got aboard on an error, and took second when Keelie Cox was hit by a pitch. Kirby then stole third and scored on Morgan Storm's sacrifice fly to left.
Gridley scored five more in the fourth for a 6-2 lead. Tara Pruitt got aboard on an error and Stacy Olson reached first on a passed ball. One out later, Chastity Johnson drove in a run when she reached first on a throwing error. Danielle Dalton followed with a single to rightfield to make it a 3-2 game.
Kirby laced a single to left that scored a run, and then Cox got aboard on a throwing error that allowed two runs to score.
Marysville added its final two runs in the sixth. Kayla Taylor walked and scored on an error of a ball hit by Karli Pena. Tanner drove in the final run with a base hit up the middle.
Ashley Buck earned the win, going six innings. She scattered seven hits. Irwin took the loss, allowing four hits.
“She threw a great game,” Gridley's Brock said of Irwin.
“They are a good team,” Brock said of Marysville. “We just came up with the crucial hits and executed our bunts. We put the ball in play.”
Appeal-Democrat reporter Richard Myers can be reached at 749-4714. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.