Saturday April 27, 2013

TOWNSHEND -- Leland & Gray had seven hits, Elizabeth Symanski fanned five, and the Rebles softball team beat the Wildcats, 16-1, in five innings Friday.

"It was Symanski’s best game this season," said Leland & Gray coach Tammy Claussen. "She just continues to get better, and that’s exactly what you want for your team."

Last week, L&G fell to Springfield against a pitcher with a similar style to Twin Valley’s Christina Moore, who had trouble on the hill Friday.

"We faced a tough Springfield team and didn’t play well at all because we were too anxious," said Claussen. "So we set some goals we wanted to accomplish, based on that game."

Mission accomplished.

Symanski had an RBI triple in the second, and sent a runner home with a double in the fourth, to give the Rebs a 13-1 advantage before she would strike out two batters in the final frame for an almost perfect inning.

Symanski gloved a liner off the visitors’ leadoff batter in the first, second baseman Emily Thibault picked up one that rolled hard at her feet, and Jordan Gouger retired TV’s side by going vertical to pull down a fly.

Gouger would knock in two more runs on a triple in the third that made it 12-0, after the team had racked up seven runs in the second. On defense that inning, the Rebels were focused. First baseman Ashley Goddard handled a double play all by herself, plucking a line drive from the air, then tagging a Wildcat runner as she took her foot off the bag on her way to second base.

The Wildcats were under constant threat from the Rebel defense throughout much of the contest. Twin Valley’s lone run came in the fourth when Lexi Reinertson sent Veronika Vernon home with a single.

Leland & Gray’s Kate McAllister and Kori Griffin each had a two-run double.

McAllister’s shot came in the first, after Symanski was walked and Jackie Hazard singled. McAllister then came home on a Twin Valley miscue to give the Rebels a three-run lead.

"I was happy with the defensive and offensive package we put together today," concluded Claussen, whose team improves to 2-2.

Symanski was getting hungry after pitching a complete game, and hurled what looked like nothing but strikes in the fifth inning, and the team tossed the ball around the horn as each Twin Valley batter made their way back to their dugout.

In Leland & Gray’s final at-bat, Summer Bills singled to center for an RBI, and Gouger slid across home, and the mercy rule went into effect.

"It’s simple. On the field, we were not focused," said Twin Valley coach Aaron Wood. "We’re missing three starters, but we’ve got to stay in the game. We had too many mental errors. Leland & Gray played better than us today, but not 15 runs better. They played well and deserved it."

Leland & Gray will play at Woodstock on Tuesday, and 3-1 Twin Valley will play at Black River on Monday, with both games beginning at 4:30 p.m.

David Aquino can be reached at daquino@reformer.com, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.