Wind: 12 mph
The Harwood Union Softball team has recorded six straight wins to begin the 2009 campaign. On Thursday, April 30, the Highlanders traveled to Morrisville to defeat the Lady Wolves of People’s Academy, 7-1.
In the first inning, Mariah Liberty opened the game with a bang, as she smashed a shot to centerfield, resulting in a triple. She scored on a ground out by Hannah Lovely. Liberty again led off the third inning. This time she ripped a double to right-center. She scored on a single by Randi Lowe.
In the fifth frame, Liberty came to the plate and laced a single to the left side. She scored on a smashing double by Lovely. In the sixth inning, Chelsea Delphia provided the fireworks as she crushed a triple to left-center. Morgan Lamson was put in to pinch run and was knocked home by Kim Martin’s single up the middle.
Harwood had runners on second and third when Hanna Martini was called upon to pinch-hit. Martini proceeded to lay down a drag bunt that hugged the first base line and left the Peoples’ pitcher with no play to make. Harwood added their final runs in the seventh as a result of errors.
Senior Ashley Sweet was dominant as she struck out five and yielded only four hits on her way to her third victory of the season. Harwood’s top sluggers of the day were Liberty with three hits, while Lovely and Lowe each recorded two.
On Friday, May 1, Harwood hosted the Oxbow Olympians in an unusual weekday double header.
In the opener, Coach Fred LaRock handed the ball to sophomore Morgan Lamson. Lamson seized the opportunity and shut the door on Oxbow. She struck out five, allowed only two weak hits and a walk as she faced only 24 batters en route to a 5-0 shut out and her second victory of the season.
In the third inning with two out, Mariah Liberty hit a double down the left field line. Randi Lowe followed with a single to right and then stole second. Ashley Sweet was walked to load the bases and Hannah Lovely singled to left scoring Liberty. Brittany Hoare was walked to force in Lowe for the second run of the frame.
Harwood rallied in the fifth, when Sweet walked and a pitch hit Lovely. Both runners scored when Hoare singled to left and the fielder then misplayed the ball.
Harwood’s final run came in the sixth when Lamson helped her own cause by bunting her way to first. A sacrifice bunt by Jess Jones moved Lamson to second. Sam Winters then replaced Lamson at second. Winters scored on a ground out/throwing error by the Oxbow first baseman.
In the nightcap, the ball went to senior hurler Ashley Sweet. Harwood checked out mentally in the first inning as Oxbow scored four times on two hits and four errors. Sweet, following Lamson’s lead then slammed the door shut on Oxbow, allowing just five base runners the rest of the game en route to her fourth victory, by a score of 9-5.
Harwood got a run back in the third when freshman Anna Benard drew a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. Benard scored on an infield ground out by Sweet.
The Highlanders offense really kicked in the fourth, when Brittany Hoare led things off with a walk and steal of second. She went to third on a passed ball, where Chelsea Delphia promptly knocked her home with a single to left. Jess Jones was walked and Kim Martin pinch ran for Delphia. Sam Winters was sent to the plate to lay down a bunt and it was a beauty to load the bases. Sarah Danaher singled to center to plate Martin. Randi Lowe laced a single to left sending Jones in to score. Sweet poked a hit behind short to score Winters. Hoare came to bat a second time in the inning, knocking home Danaher with a hit to left and Lowe was thrown out at the plate on a very close play.
Harwood added to their lead in the seventh, as Hoare walked and Delphia got on by an error. A sacrifice bunt by Megan Audet left the runners at second and third. Danaher singled to drive in Hoare. Mariah Liberty singled to left plating Delphia and when the fielder misplayed the ball, Danaher sprinted home and Liberty took second.
HARWOOD DEFEATS RAIDERS
The Harwood Union Highlanders traveled to local rival U32 on Tuesday, May 5, for a game played in the cold misty rain.
The Lady Highlanders kept the unbeaten streak alive with a 10-3 victory over the host Raiders.
Ashley Sweet twirled a gem holding the opposition to just one hit and four free passes, picking up her fifth victory.
Harwood brought their bats as well banging out a dozen hits. With the help of U32’s poor defense, the Highlanders piled the runs on in the second and seventh innings.
The first big blow came when Randi Lowe stroked a triple to deep left, scoring two of Harwood’s four runs in that frame. In the seventh, the wheels came off for U32 as Harwood had five singles and took advantage of four errors to send five runs across the plate.
Mariah Liberty found her groove as she had three hits and an RBI. Lowe ended up with two hits. Brittany Hoare added a pair of hits as well. Harwood ran wild on the base paths, stealing seven times. Hoare and Sam Winters each picked up a pair.
Harwood travels to Vergennes on Thursday, May 7, and hosts Lamoille on Saturday, May 9, in a possible playoff preview.