Wednesday May 22, 2013

TOWNSHEND -- On an 83-degree day at the Leland & Gray softball field, squatting behind the plate with a mask, chest protector and shin guards on wasn’t exactly the way anyone wanted to spend their afternoon.

And it seemed like Ashley Sigl was in that position the entire game.

The Woodstock catcher sucked it up as the Rebels batted around twice during a 25-0 thrashing of the visiting Wasps in a five-inning contest on Tuesday.

Leland & Gray took advantage of eight walks and three hit batsmen to claim a 10-0 advantage in the first inning. Woodstock’s Brittany Sawyer still hadn’t given up a hit -- despite facing 14 batters -- when her team went to the dugout, where the exhausted Sigl ripped off her equipment, dropped to her back and stared up at the sky.

The game was basically over at that point. Elizabeth Symanski, who was just too dominant in the circle, would walk two, fan a dozen, and give up just a couple of hits in her complete-game victory.

"Elizabeth is never happy with her performance. Her goal is always to not walk any batters. She walked the first one she faced and then hit the next one, but she refocused after that," said Rebels coach Tammy Claussen.

And her teammates were solid defensively.

Catcher Elizabeth Gallup threw out Maggie Pierce on a first-inning bunt and later picked off Sawyer at first base. And two balls were hit to "Hazard County," with third baseman Jackie Hazard showing off her rifle arm each time.

Emily Thibault walked and scored on a wild pitch in the second, making it 11-0. And the hosts added three more runs in the third frame, highlighted by freshman Jordan Gouger’s solo homer over the fence in left.

"It was Jordan’s second homer this season. It was the first pitch and she just connected. It is great to see...we will get to see three more years of this," noted Claussen.

Over on the other side, the Wasps got a good laugh. When Sigl yelled "backup" to her center fielder after trying to throw a runner out at second, the outfielder heard "back up" instead and walked closer to the fence.

And then Sigl had to squat through a marathon fourth inning, when Leland & Gray sent 15 batters to the plate and tacked on 11 more runs. Ashley Goddard, Kori Griffin, Summer Bills, Emily Stockwell, Hazard and Symanski all had a hit during the rally.

Symanski struck out the last five Woodstock batters that she faced. Just before that streak, Shelby Gault singled to begin the fourth. The only other hit for the Wasps came in the third, when Sawyer dribbled one toward "Hazard County" and the home team’s third baseman did all she could to make it a close play at first.

The 10-3 Rebels will play at Mill River on Friday.

Leland & Gray lineup: Jordan Gouger SS, Jackie Hazard 3B, Kate McAllister CF, Ashley Goddard 1B, Kori Griffin DP, Elizabeth Symanski P, Emily Thibault 2B, Summer Bills LF, Leah Gokey RF, Elizabeth Gallup Flex/C.

Woodstock lineup: Ashley Sigl C, Gabby Rozumek 3B, Brittany Sawyer P, Shelby Gault 1B, Maggie Pierce 2B, Elizabeth Fitzpatrick SS, Emily Jillson CF, Madi Chism LF, Heather Cote RF.

Shane Covey can be reached at scovey@reformer.com or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.