Written By: Cassandra Swartz
On Monday night, Williston and Buchholz met for the second time this season, with the ‘Cats coming out on top the first time around. Seeking revenge, the Red Devils hit the gas early and never let up, scoring in every inning and trouncing their competitors 17-6.
“Tonight’s performance –I’m happy with it,” said Red Devils head coach Lavar Williams.
Facing Olivia McDaniel in the circle, Williston opened the scoring early on a single from Nevaeh Hayes that drove in Maci Vonderstrasse. Vonderstrasse had reached second after the throw to get her out at first base was mishandled.
Buchholz responded in kind in the bottom of the first by hitting two singles off of Raegan Geiger. Lindsey Orton tied the game with a sacrifice grounder to bring McDaniel home, and Jadyn Goston stole the lead for the Bobcats by racing home on a pitch that got past the catcher.
Not wanting to remain in a deficit for long, the Red Devils tacked on another run in the second. A poor throw to first allowedJayme Parise to round for second and put herself in scoring position. Parise stole third, and then made it home on an error to tie the game at two apiece.
They put more runners on base and would have added a few more runs that inning, but an interference call ended that opportunity. Tione Akins was the lone base runner for the ‘Cats in the second after hitting a single, so the score remained tied heading to the third.
After a leadoff out, a series of Williston hits and Buchholz errors helped the Red Devils jump out to a 5-2 lead. Geiger, Savannah Rodriguez, Austine Howard and Layce Rowe all contributed singles during that time, and Geiger, Howard and Parise notched the runs.
The Bobcats were able to claw back within one run in the home half of the inning. Goston hit a single and stole second, and Orton doubled to bring her home. After Orton stole third, Lauren Baltozer singled her home.
With Buchholz trying to inch back, Williston just kept building its lead. Singles from Vonderstrasse and Hayes and a walk drawn by Geiger loaded the bases with only one out. Consecutive RBI singles by Rodriguez and Howard drove in two runs to make it 7-4.
After a pop out, the bases were still loaded for Jayla Graves who hit her own RBI single to add another run. Rowe tallied an RBI by being hit by a pitch to allow Rodriguez to walk across the plate for the ninth run.
The ‘Cats snatched an unearned run in the fourth when Jenjah Collins reached on an error, eventually making it home on a wild pitch. They had a chance for more runs in the inning, but some great fielding by the visitors limited the damage.Down 9-5, Mary Elise Brady replaced McDaniel in the circle to start the fifth.
The Red Devils drew back-to-back-to-back walks to load the bases with no outs. A wild pitch allowed one run to score to put Williston in double digits, and Brady walked her fourth straight batter to load the bases again. Without retiring any batters, Brady was replaced by McDaniel who was coming back into the game.
Howard welcomed her back by driving a deep double that scored two more runs and made it 12-5. In a bright spot on the night for the Bobcats, they turned a rare triple play to end the inning.In the bottom of the fifth, Orton continued her hitting streak by leading off with a double.
She was quickly brought home on a double from Paige Tibbetts, but it was the final run of the game for Buchholz. A six-run lead wasn’t going to slow Williston down, and Olivia Davis drilled a triple to reflect that. She was knocked in by Hayes, who was then knocked in by Geiger.
Miyuanna Days laced a single to join Geiger on base, and they were both brought home on a deep shot over the fence by Howard to make it 17-6. The ‘Cats pieced together a couple of hits in the bottom of the sixth but couldn’t bring anyone home, so the game ended in a run rule.
Williston showed out up and down the entire lineup, but the team was led by shortstop Howard. She had four hits (two singles, a double and a homerun), seven RBIs and two runs.
“I really wanted to hit and make my teamproudand play for them,” Howard said after the game.
First baseman Hayes notched three singles, two RBIs, a steal and three runs.“As a team, I feel like we played really good,” said Hayes. “We had some good defensive plays and offensive plays.”
Geiger tossed a complete game in the circle and delivered over the plate with a single, double, RBI and four runs. The Red Devils picked up their fourth win of the year, while the Bobcats moved to 7-5.
“Right now, we’re focusing on one game at a time to get to the end of the season,” said Williams. “I feel confident with where we’re at right now.”