Friday, April 24, 2009

Engel's one-hitter lifts Wolverines over Burley 8-3

17 strikeouts for Sam

Express Staff Writer

Wood River senior pitcher Samantha Engel, throwing at home against Century on Saturday, turned around and tossed a one-hitter at a tough Burley team, in Burley, on Tuesday. Photo by Willy Cook

Senior pitcher Samantha Engel tossed her third one-hitter in 14 games this season as the Wood River High School softball team sunk Burley 8-3 in Great Basin West Conference play in Burley on Tuesday.

Engel was awesome in a game that previewed a first-round, #2-#3 match-up in the Great Basin West tournament, which starts Saturday, May 2, in Jerome.

"It was a pitching gem for Sam," said Wood River coach Dale Martin. "She just really picked her spots and made the pitches. I think she finally realized it's not how you throw, it's where you throw."

Harnessing her energy, Engel had the Bobcats off-balance all afternoon, fanning 17 batters. The three runs Burley did manage were off a walk and a pair of passed balls in the third inning.

In fact, Burley's only hit was an infield hit by the first Bobcat batter of the game.

By that point, the Wolverines had plated five runs and maintained their advantage throughout the game against Burley's fine senior pitcher, Molly Mills (14 hits, 6 earned runs, 10 K).

Wood River put together a 14-hit effort, including three-hit nights by Madison Gove (3-for-5, 2 RBI), Taylor Gove (3-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs) and freshman K.T. Martinez (3-for-5, 2 RBI).

Martinez could not resist adding another sport to her spring schedule, which also includes school track and Select girls' basketball.

"We got a lot of production out of the whole lineup," Martin said. "Our 5-6-7-8-9 hitters scored six of our eight runs. Burley was not in it yesterday."

Extra-base highlights were provided by Alex Lindbloom, who belted a 250-foot home run out of the yard leading off the third inning. It was Lindbloom's first WRHS homer. Josie Dawson belted a long double off the fence and was robbed of another base hit by a fantastic catch.

"It was just a big-league, towering blast," Martin said.

Ali Levy tripled to lead off the seventh inning and scored on a Madison Gove single to finish the Wolverine scoring.

The victory, Wood River's second straight after a four-game losing streak, improved Hailey's road record to 5-2.

Defending champion Wood River and Burley (14-5, 3-2 league) will meet in the first round of the double elimination league tournament May 2, with top-seeded Jerome (13-5, 5-1) playing #4 Minico (0-19, 0-5).

Wood River (7-7 overall, 2-2 league) is on the road in Nampa against Skyview today, Friday, April 24, and then visits Twin Falls Saturday, April 25. Wood River and Burley duel once more Tuesday, April 28, at 4:30 p.m. in Hailey. "Senior Day" is Wednesday, April 29, at home with Pocatello.

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