WESTMINSTER — Jada Marie Spaulding Doyle must have been smiling down from up above.
Filling in at second base for her late teammate, Grace Wilkinson started a double play and also drove in a couple of runs to help the Bellows Falls varsity softball team to a 12-10 victory over Twin Valley on Monday.
“We’re hitting the ball well and I know we’re a pretty good defensive team,” said winning coach Donald Laurendeau, whose Terriers improved to 5-3 overall.
The two teams combined for 21 walks and a dozen errors. Trailing 4-0 and later 6-2, Bellows Falls would draw even at 7-7 before pulling away down the stretch.
“We need to start playing before the fifth inning. We need to play for seven full innings,” noted Laurendeau.
Hannah Sullivan, who finished with two hits, drilled an RBI single to right in the top of the first as Twin Valley stole a 4-0 advantage. Jazmyn Dix (CF) was the other standout for the visitors, making five nice catches and adding a couple of RBI knocks.
“She’s amazing. She does this for us every time,” said Twin Valley coach Joni Sullivan of Dix.
Bellows Falls would eventually pull even behind a pair of RBI sacrifice flies from Wilkinson, Abby “the Mongoose” Joslyn’s run-scoring single, and Emma Graham’s 190-foot triple to center. Savannah Sylvester stole home, Joslyn singled, and Natalie Noyes chipped in with a sac fly to put the hosts ahead for good in the fifth.
With reliever Aliya Farmer inside the circle, the hosts made some fine defensive plays to seal it. Wilkinson (2B) caught a fly ball in the fourth and then threw behind a runner for a pitcher’s best friend, Graham (SS) went to the ground to make a force play in the fifth, and Sylvester (1B) robbed Sullivan of a hit in the sixth.
It was only fitting that Wilkinson’s catch near second base — where Jada played her final game before she died from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident on April 25 — was the last out.
Twin Valley lineup: Jayden Crawford 3B, Alyssa Bird SS, Hailey Tine LF, Hannah Sullivan P, Rita Messing C, Chloe Joyce 2B, Jazmyn Dix CF, Sadie Boyd 1B, Elizabeth Thurber RF.
Bellows Falls lineup: Jenna Dolloph C, Emma Graham SS, Grace Wilkinson 2B, Taryn Darrell P, Savannah Sylvester 1B, Abby Joslyn 3B, Anna McGrath RF, Aliya Farmer CF, Alana McAllister LF.