NEW MANCHESTER - Two games. Two hours. Two victories.
The Oak Glen softball team outscored Wellsville, 23-0, to earn a doubleheader sweep Saturday afternoon at the Field of Dreams Complex at Oak Glen. The Golden Bears won the first game, 10-0, and they won the second 13-0. The two games totaled five innings.
"Finally, it was a good day for us," Oak Glen head coach Michelle McHaffie said. "They have been working hard, and they have been improving. Even with the loss the other day to Indian Creek, 6-1, they are improving with each game as they go along. They definitely needed this for a confidence booster."
With the sweep, the Golden Bears are now 5-10 on the season. The two loss drops the Tigers to 2-7.
"It was pretty rough," first-year Wellsville head coach Barry Keller said. "If you can't make the infielders move their feet, you are not going to get on base. We hit the ball right to them every time. We left about four batters on in the second game, and about six in the first game. That didn't help either. You have got to get those runners in.
"All in all, they hit the ball really well. I can't take anything away from them. We are a pitching a young girl - a freshman and we have been for the first nine games now. She is doing well for me. When she gets tired, she struggles. That senior I threw at the end of the game today, she is all I got until I get my ace back. She is in Florida.
Oak Glen 10, Wellsville 0
WE 000 - 00 2
OG 19X - 10 6
WP: Jordan Cunningham (3ip, 0r, 2h, 2k, 0bb) and Ashley Pryor. LP: Anotnia Lombardozzi (2ip, 10r, 6h, 1k, 10bb) and Irene Kiser.
Oak Glen 13, Wellsville 0
WE 000 - 00 2
OG 85X 13 6
WP: Marissa Murray (3ip, 0r, 2h, 2k, 2bb) and Pryor. LP: Lombardozzi and Kiser.
"Oak Glen is a good team. I am proud of my girls for sticking it out. We were expecting five-inning games not three. I forgot all about the West Virginia rules being from Ohio. I think that kind of disgusted the girls a little bit too. They were ready to play some more softball, but you have got to hit the ball and we aren't hitting. We are down right now really bad.
"We started off great. Now, the batters are dropping off. The averages are lower. I just wish we could pick it up. I'm struggling. We are young. I have got two girls on the field today who are the only two girls who have ever played high school softball before. The rest of them do not have any experience at all. It's rough."
Jordan Cunningham was the winner in the first game for the Golden Bears. She struck out two and did not walk a batter. She limited the Tigers to two hits in three innings of work.
Offensively, Ashley Pryor recorded a double and three RBI, Jackie Cool contributed two singles and three RBI and Tayler Maxwell collected two singles. Also, Tia Smith tallied a single.
"They did everything that they pretty much needed to do the things we have been talking about - even putting the ball over the plate and letting the defense work for them," McHaffie said. "They let that happen today, and they came around offensively with the bats too."
Antonia Lombardozzi took the loss for the Tigers. She struck out two while walking 10.
Offensively, Irene Kiser and Shayla Hall each tallied singles.
The Golden Bears plated a run in the first inning to get off to a good start, and then Oak Glen erupted for nine runs in the second inning to take a 10-0 lead. The game ended when Wellsville was held scoreless in the top of the third.
Marissa Murray recorded the win in the second game. She struck out two and walked one.
Offensivley, Maxwell tallied a single, a double and an RBI, Pryor produced a double and two RBI and Murray delivered a single and two RBI. Cool also contributed a base hit.
"I think anything close like this you will find there is a rivalry," McHaffie said about the rivalry between the two local schools. "We have rivalries with Weir, East Liverpool and Wellsville. Anything close, it makes it a nice game for the fans too to be able to come out and get somewhere that is local to see the kids play. I think that makes part of it too."
Lombardozzi took the loss in the second game.
Offensively, Meika Dalrymple and Hall each collected a single.
This time, the Golden Bears broke the game open with a big first inning. Oak Glen scored eight runs in the first inning, and the Golden Bears plated five more in the second. The game ended when the Tigers were held scoreless in the top of the third.
"We picked up our fifth win there, so that is two more than we had last year," McHaffie said. "We said we wanted six or more, and we are on our way there hopefully to where we are trying to get. We have several games yet to come, so we hope we improve that by a lot."
Oak Glen returns to the field Monday at home against Wheeling Central.
"They gave it to us pretty good last week, so I think we are going to come with a different outlook with the way they have been playing lately. We have a game here Monday, then Toronto on Thursday, Friday back here with Big Red and then Saturday a doubleheader with Bellaire. They have got several games ahead of them that they need to look to win."
Wellsville plays Tuesday at home against local-rival Southern Local.