The Wood River High School softball team didn’t get many hits Tuesday in its “Senior Day” home league game against the Jerome Tigers at South Valley Sports Complex softball field in Hailey.
But coach Dale Martin’s streaking Wolverines put their five hits to good use, and also stitched together an excellent game defensively. The result was a 7-5 victory that ended the home season on a positive note.
Wood River (9-12, 6-8 league) captured its sixth consecutive victory and ninth win in 10 games—finishing its home season with a 4-3 record. And the Wolverines came very close to winning the season series with Jerome on Wednesday.
Playing a Great Basin Conference doubleheader at Jerome to finish the regular season, Wood River rallied from a 6-1 deficit after three innings to grab the lead 9-7.
Jerome tied it 9-9 and the Wolverines pushed across the go-ahead run in the seventh for a 10-9 lead. But, in the home seventh, Jerome tied the game 10-10 and won it 14-10 on a walk-off grand slam by Crystal Luna.
Sophomore shortstop Ashley Hicks had two hits including a homer for Wood River, senior Kori Paradis added two hits and sophomore catcher Ciceley Peavey ripped a homer leading the eight-hit Hailey attack.
Having dramatically beaten Wood River ace Britney Bradley in the first game, Jerome pounded the Wolverines 17-5 in the nightcap to sweep the twinbill and wrest the No. 3 seed away from Wood River for the upcoming six-team Great Basin Conference tournament.
The league tournament hosted by top-seeded Canyon Ridge opens Saturday, May 4 in Twin Falls. No. 4-seeded Wood River opens against No. 5 Burley, while No. 3 Jerome goes against No. 6 Minico. Last year’s tournament winner was Twin Falls over Jerome. Twin Falls is the second seed in 2013.
Yet the Wolverines from Hailey have improved greatly from their 0-9 start to the season, outscoring opponents 64-26 in their six-game win streak that ended with Tuesday’s win.
Clutch two-out hits led to the narrow win over Jerome. Although Jerome out-hit Wood River 10-5, the Wolverines scored all seven of their runs with two outs. And sophomore righty Bradley (10 hits, 2 BB, 5 K) did the job in the circle with 110 pitches. She also got plenty of help from her defense.
But Wood River needed a big hit and got it when Paradis roped a two-out, two-run double to the right center field fence driving home pinch runner Valeria Morse and Hicks for a 7-5 lead in the home sixth.
It was a team-high 10th extra-base hit for Paradis, who entered Tuesday’s game leading in batting average (.389), slugging percentage (.593), runs (19), hits (21) and RBIs (16).
Earlier in the game, senior Sydney Tidwell belted a two-out solo homer giving Wood River a 1-0 lead in the first.
After Jerome pushed across two runs in the third, one of them unearned, Peavey ripped a 2-2 pitch for a three-run homer over her mother’s lawn chair in left putting the home team ahead 4-2 after three.
Leadoff batter Hicks (2 hits, 2 runs) started the three-run inning with a leadoff bunt single. In the home fourth, Hicks delivered freshman Chloe Evans with a two-out RBI single for a 5-2 Wolverine lead.
Trailing 5-2 after four, Jerome rallied to tie the game 5-5 with two runs in the sixth.
The Tigers filled the bases with one out in the sixth after tying the game. But Wood River second baseman Samantha Sutton gloved a wicked line drive by Jerome’s Paige Jackman for the second out, and Bradley enticed a grounder from Lindsey Parker that Hicks turned into the final out.
Jerome stranded six runners in the final three innings, five of them in scoring position. That was because of Bradley’s pitching and the errorless work of the Hailey infield defense.
Shortstop Hicks had five assists and first baseman Tidwell was flawless with 12 putouts. Paradis made three assists and two putouts at third base. Second sacker Sutton had two assists and two putouts.