Deja blue: Cadets sweep Cougars for second time in five days
BEVERLY – Freshman hurler Jada Baker tossed a six hitter and drove in a run with a double to pace the Fort Frye Lady Cadets to a 6-3 victory over the visiting Frontier Lady Cougars in a Pioneer Valley Conference game Monday evening.
The victory was the second Cadet win over the Cougars in less than a week as the Fort scored a 7-4 victory in New Matamoras last Thursday night.
As was the case in last week’s contest, Fort Frye jumped out to an early lead and then relied on the strong pitching of Baker and some solid defense to improve to 4-3 on the season.
“We jumped out early, much like we did last week and then kind of waited for them to catch up,” said Cadet coach Barb Sleek. “It was another good ballgame and we’re just fortunate to keep coming out on top.”
The Lady Cadets did much of their damage early on after the first two hitters had been retired.
In the opening inning after the first two hitters had been retired, Hali Lemasters drew a base on balls off of Cougar starting pitcher Sammi Morris.
Cadet senior catcher Natalie Smith singled to move Lemasters into scoring position and freshman Tanner Booth cashed in the first run of the game with a single to center field.
Michelle Adkins made it a 2-0 game with the third consecutive Lady Cadet hit of the inning.
Fort Frye added to its lead in the third inning, once again with two out, on back-to-back singles by Courtney Allen and Hali Lemasters and a Cougar wild pitch
Frontier got on the board in top of the third inning when Lexi Brookover drew a two-out walk, moved to third base on a base hit by Morris, and scored when the Cadets caught Morris in a run down between first and second.
The Fort got that run back and one more in their half of the third on Baker’s RBI double and a run scoring single by Sarah Wagner.
After Baker retired the Cougars in order in the top of the fourth, Fort Frye made it a 6-1 game on a lead-off double by Allen, one of three hits the senior out fielder collected in the game, and an infield ground out by Smith.
Frontier scored a pair of runs in the top of the sixth when Taylor Rinard led off with a single and moved to third when Brookover double to left field.
Morris plated the first run of the inning with a sacrifice fly and one out later Emily Hinton made it a 6-3 game with an RBI base hit.
Danielle Reed walked to bring the tying run to the plate, but Baker bowed her back and retired Maddie Greathouse on a ground ball to shortstop to end the inning.
The Cadets got the first two runners on base in the last of the sixth when Chelsey Snodgrass and Allen led off with singles, but Morris kept her team’s chances alive by retiring the next three Fort Frye hitters.
With the hot-hitting Brookover scheduled to bat fourth in the last inning, Baker was able to finish strong as she set down the Cougars in order for the victory.
“We played a lot better defensively tonight than we did last week,” said Sleek of her team which played an error less game. “That’s a big plus for us and Jada (Baker) did a great job on the mound.”
The Cougars slipped to 4-5 with the loss but head coach Russ Morris sees some good things on the horizon for his young team.
“We are getting close but we are just not there yet,” said Morris. “I was pleased with our effort and the kids are going to keep working and the coaches are going to keep coaching and we’ll get there.”
The Lady Cougars are scheduled to host Caldwell today, while Fort Frye travels to Buckeye Trail on Wednesday.
Fort Frye scored nine times in the second inning and went on to easily defeat Frontier 12-2.
The 10-run victory was the exact same score as when the two PVC rivals hooked up last week in Frontier.
Cadet catcher Drew Layton collected a double and single in three at bats while knocking in three runs and scoring twice while Colten Shuster collected three RBI’s on a pair of base hits to pace a nine-hit Fort Frye offense.
The Cougars committed seven errors in the ball game which allowed four unearned Cadet runs to cross the plate.
Fort Frye starting pitcher Tanner Rice was the beneficiary of the Cadet offensive onslaught as the sophomore right hander allowed just three Cougar base hits and a pair of runs in his six innings on the mound to gain the victory.
Hunter Smitley started the game for coach Erin Curtis’ Cougars and failed to survive the second inning.
C.J. Cunningham came on in relief and yielded four more runs in the second before settling down to hold the Fort to just one run over his final four innings of work.
Cody Mendenhall and Lane Curtis were responsible for the Cougar offense as both hitters collected RBI singles in the third inning.
The Cadets are scheduled to host Cambridge tonight, while Frontier will welcome Shenandoah on Wednesday.