BELLBROOK — Sophomore pitching ace Randi Holder threw a complete game, while her teammates provided a complete game of support, in a 10-0 run-ruled win over league foe Valley View, May 6, in the opening round of the Division II sectional softball tournament at Bellbrook High.
Bellbrook (10-6), the No. 8 seed, scored three runs in both the first and second innings to take command with a 6-0 lead. The Golden Eagles tagged on a run in the third inning, two more in the fifth, then ended the game in the sixth when junior Skylar Barlow raced home safely from third on a well-executed squeeze bunt by senior Kayla Szekely. Unofficially, Bellbrook smacked 11 hits in the win.
“The girls played really well. They played together, and they supported their teammates,” Bellbrook coach Heather Hebrank said. “That’s been the theme of our season: working as a team and being a family. I feel like they displayed that tonight.”
Holder kept Valley View off balanced for most of the game, striking out six Spartan batters while giving up five hits in her six innings of work. The only time Valley View got a runner to third base was in the first inning of play, when leadoff batter Makayla Eversole singled then advanced to third on a pair of infield groundouts.
Eversole appeared to have scored on Simone Fares’ infield grounder to short, but Fares was called out on the play to end the inning.
“As far as our hitting goes tonight, we just hit the ball right to ‘em. We just couldn’t find any gaps. That’s probably the biggest difference tonight,” Valley View coach Joei Collins said. The Spartans, the tourney’s No. 13 seed, played two close 4-3 and 5-2 losses to Bellbrook in the regular season. They end their season with a 3-16 overall record.
For Bellbrook, leadoff hitter Kendall Knisley reached base in all four trips to the plate with a pair of walks, a bunt single and a single into left, and she scored four runs. Abbie Hess singled in the first inning and scored, then converted three consecutive sacrifice bunts to move runners along in her final three at-bats.
Kaley Clark, the Southwestern Buckeye League’s hitting leader with a .700 average, hit two singles, scored a run, was hit by a pitch and drove in three runs in the win, and Sammi Seubert went 3-for-3 at the plate with a foulout and drove in four runs. Skylar Barlow not only scored on the game-ending squeeze play, but she stole two bases and had a single in the game.
Up next is No. 5-seed Middletown Fenwick (18-7) for a 5 p.m. game on Thursday, May 9 at Fenwick High. The Falcons won the Greater Catholic League Co-ed’s North division this season.
“Fenwick’s a great team, and they’re gonna come ready to play us. We expect that. We know that. We’re gonna show up, and we’re gonna be ready to play, too,” Hebrank said.