Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Softball team plays close games with Jerome

Wolverines look for breakthrough

Wood River senior outfielder Devan Atkinson (middle) helps junior first baseman Sydney Tidwell (right) celebrate her home run during Saturday’s second game of a home doubleheader against the Jerome Tigers in Hailey. Photo by Willy Cook

There were plenty of highlights for the Wood River High School softball team, but they couldn't get over the hump against the two-time defending Great Basin Conference champ Jerome Tigers last weekend in a three-game league series.

Jerome (5-3, 4-2 league) posted 6-4, 8-2 and 9-5 victories over a rapidly improving Wolverine squad (1-8, 0-6) that nevertheless has dropped eight consecutive games since a season-opening 8-6 victory at Filer March 9. But all three games were close and competitive.

Among the highlights:

Improved Hailey defense, with only seven errors in the three games against Jerome and some fine running grabs by left fielder Devan Atkinson.

Freshman Brittney Bradley (6 innings, 3 earned runs, 3 K, 0 BB) tossed one of her best games in Friday's 6-4 loss at Jerome. The Tigers led 4-0 after three frames, but Wood River chipped away and tied it 4-4 before Jerome tacked on two runs in the home fifth.

Jerome senior pitcher Colby Argyle, last season's Great Basin Pitcher of the Year, threw all three games for the Tigers—21 innings in less than 24 hours—and was tough when she needed to make pitches. She allowed 18 hits and 7 earned runs over three games, walking five and whiffing 12.

When Wood River rested ace pitcher Bradley in Saturday's first game at Hailey's South Valley Sports Complex, coach Dale Martin started junior righty Favi Ruiz. She did a fine job keeping her team close during Jerome's 8-2 win. Argyle finished with a three-hitter.

Ruiz threw first-pitch strikes to eight of the first nine Jerome batters and ended with 109 pitches over five innings, allowing 7 hits and 6 earned runs. She fielded her position well. The big Jerome blow was pitcher Argyle's two-out, three-run homer in the first.

Wood River belted two homers of its own to brag about.

In the third, Bradley dialed in to a first-pitch offering from Argyle and lined a solo homer—her first-ever varsity dinger—that got out of the park so fast that it hit a dog spectating behind the fence.

In the sixth, junior first baseman Sydney Tidwell led off with a towering solo homer that carried way over the scoreboard in left center field and reached the pine trees by the bus barn. She got it all.

Martin said, "It was one of the hardest hit balls I've seen here."

Saturday's second game won by Jerome 9-5 was more of a hit-fest. It featured 22 hits between the two teams and homers by Jerome's Tyler Ostler, catcher Jenna Seamons (5-for-9 for day) and Tidwell again.

Tidwell (4-for-7, 3 RBI, 2 HR, 2 doubles, 12 total bases) enjoyed a good day at the plate Saturday. Shortstop Shelby Cooper (3-for-3) and third sacker Kori Paradis (2 hits, double) hit well in Game No. 2.

Wood River travels to the Kimberly tournament Friday, April 13 and resumes league play April 20 at Minico (4-5, 2-2). In other league action: League-leading Twin Falls (8-2, 5-1) swept three games from winless Burley, and Canyon Ridge (9-2, 5-1) won a pair of 7-6 games over Minico after a rare 7-3 loss to the Spartans.

At the eight-school Kimberly meet, Wood River plays Marsh Valley of Arimo Friday at 1 p.m. and Highland of Pocatello Friday at 5 p.m. On Saturday, the Wolverines meet South Fremont of St. Anthony at 11 a.m. and Teton of Driggs 3 p.m. Other teams are Buhl, Kimberly and Spring Creek (Nev.).

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