Friday, March 14, 2008

Jerome softball gains the early edge

Tigers whip WRHS 10-1

Express Staff Writer

Bridesmaids for three straight years in the Great Basin Conference West, Jerome High School varsity softball players came out and played like it was their turn at the top of the heap Wednesday.

Jerome managed only five hits, but the Tigers (1-2, 1-0 league) did the little things you need to win softball games in a methodical 10-1 Great Basin West win over the visiting Wood River Wolverines (0-3, 0-1) on a balmy mid-March afternoon at Forsythe Park, Jerome.

The Tigers were second in the league to Minico in 2005, Wood River in 2006 and Burley in 2007, but they were also back-door state tournament qualifiers all three years. Jerome showed what it takes to win—execution, patience at the plate and strong base running.

Jerome, 4-0 and 8-0 home losers to Buhl Tuesday, scored their first two runs on walks, bunts and passed balls, then got a two-out, two-run single by catcher Sara McEntarffer to jump ahead 4-0 after two frames off Wood River junior righty ace Samantha Engel (0-2).

Engel (137 pitches, 10 runs, 5 earned runs, 5 hits, 8 walks, 9 K) never found any consistency and had only one 1-2-3 inning. Meanwhile, Jerome winning pitcher Ashley Morrell (3 hits, 1 earned runs, 2 BB, 7 K) stayed ahead on the count and kept the ball in play for her fielders.

Wood River finally scored in the sixth when left fielder Madison Gove singled with one out and scored on a two-out single by shortstop Dani Stone. Engel tripled in the first but was stranded at the hot corner.

The Wolverines committed only two errors, in the fifth and sixth, but they led to the final five Tiger runs as Jerome continued to produce two-out hits.

"We did not do much of anything very well," said Wood River coach Dale Martin. "We will get better."

The Wolverines visit Century Saturday in Pocatello.

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