ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Marion Warrior softball team pushed its record to 5-3 with a pair of easy wins over Canton-Galva Thursday, 19-0 and 21-0.
“Mentally, we were very sharp,” coach Charlotte Waner said. “We could have had a letdown, but we kept focused and did a good job, I thought.”
In the opener, it didn’t take long for the Warriors to establish their dominance as they pushed across five runs in each of the first two innings to grab a 10-0 lead.
Although the Warriors hit the ball well, Eagle errors helped the cause.
Marion added a run in the third inning and erased any doubt about the outcome in the fourth inning when it pushed across eight more to push the score to 19-0.
Defensively, Marion used the durable arm of Emmy Bowers who got a rare start at pitcher and threw a complete-game four-hitter. Bowers walked three and struck out three.
“We knew Leann (Thomas) threw a lot of pitches against Council Grove on Tuesday and we wanted to rest her today,” Waner said. “In games like this, it’s a good time to get others some work.”
Offensively, the Warriors were led by Sarah Williams who scored four runs, and Kara Holt and Megan Hudson, who crossed the plate three times each. Bowers contributed a home run and two RBI.
In Game 2, Canton-Galva came out with new resolve and allowed just two Warrior runs through the first two innings.
But the third inning signaled a return to Game 1 form as Marion scored six runs. Doubles by Caitlin O’Dell and Holt ignited the rally.
Marion scored an additional three runs in the fourth and 10 in the fifth.
Holt pitched Game 2 and threw a two-hit shutout.
“Our girls stepped up and did a great job pitching today,” Waner said. “They knew they were going to have to pitch today and they both responded very well.”
Offensively, Marion was led by O’Dell and Bowers, who each scored four runs. Bowers added another home run, while Hudson, O’Dell and Whitney Wear drove in two runs each.
Although the final scores indicated the games weren’t beneficial, Waner said it was a perfect day to work on things the short-handed squad doesn’t otherwise get to work on.
“We got base running, bunting and hitting practice,” she said. “It makes it nice to be able to work on some of those things.”
Waner admitted focus is sometimes hard to direct in games that seem so lopsided, but she took solace in the fact her girls didn’t stray away from the intended objective.
“I’m very proud of my girls both mentally and physically,” she said. “They didn’t let down and they completed the games.
“Our bats were good, our base running was good-everything was good,” she said.
Council Grove- Marion split a doubleheader at home with Council Grove Braves Tuesday, April 13.
In the opener, the Warriors grabbed a 3-0 first-inning lead. Caitlin O’Dell led off the inning with a walk and Whitney Wear singled. Emmy Bowers cleared the bases with a one-out triple and scored on an error on the Council Grove catcher.
But the Braves countered with three runs in the second inning to tie the game, then took a 5-3 lead in the top of the fourth to set up the Warrior comeback.
Once again it was O’Dell who sparked the scoring rally as she led off with a walk. Wear reached on an error followed by a walk to Sarah Williams.
A passed ball, wild pitch and a double steal produced three runs as Marion took a 6-5 lead.
The Warriors added two insurance runs in the sixth when O’Dell singled, stole second and scored on a Wear single. Wear scored on a one-out single off the bat of Bowers to give Marion the 8-5 win.
Leann Thomas (3-1) got the win, striking out five, walking four and allowing 12 hits.
In Game 2, Council Grove scored two in the first, but the Warriors cut the lead in half in the second inning when Thomas singled and scored on a solid double off the bat of Megan Hudson.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, the run signaled their final tally of the evening while the Braves got two runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings before icing the game with six runs in the sixth for the 14-1 win.