SIMULATED NORTH COAST — What better way is there to win a serious pitching duel than to have the Greene County area’s actual 2019 Spring softball batting champ knock in the winning run?
That’s what happened Thursday night in a simulated high school softball game at Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians. The game would’ve been played at Beavercreek’s Rotary Park, but the field was all soggy from the recent rain. The simulated Cleveland Indians weren’t using their field, and so after about a 3 1/2-hour drive northeast, the two local teams had some simulated softball fun up there.
Area batting champ Kaley Clark singled to left to score Kayla Szekely with the winning run in the top of the ninth inning, to give the Bellbrook Golden Eagles a hard-earned 3-2 win over the Beavercreek Battlin’ Beavers.
Bellbrook’s Randi Holder and ‘Creek’s Mariah Crawford found themselves locked in a pitcher’s duel through eight innings of play, with both teams evened up at 2-all. Both held the other team to eight hits, with Holder striking out eight Beavercreek batters; Crawford with three.
Beavercreek scored first in its home half of the first inning when Courtney Knight trotted home on Paige Weekley’s sacrifice flyout to deep center. Bellbrook evened things up in the fourth when Abbie Hess doubled, then scored on Clark’s RBI single to right field.
Clark had a big day at the plate, going 4-for-5 with an eighth-inning triple, two runs knocked in and a score.
Both Greene County area teams scored in the eighth. Clark scored on Sami Seubert’s sac fly to left; then the Beavers countered in the bottom of the inning when Knight led off the home half of the inning with a double, then scored on a Shelby Metzger single to right.
After Szekely’s go-ahead score in the top of the ninth, Beavercreek had the tying and go-ahead runs perched on second and third bases with nobody out, when Holder got the next three batters to groundout, flyout and strikeout to earn the win.
‘Creek’s Maddie Neibert led the Beavers in hitting. She went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.
In a bit of Bombatch-owned Sherco Grand Slam Baseball (softball) history, Beavercreek turned a rare triple play in the opening inning. With Golden Eagles perched on first and second base, the next batter hit a scorching line drive to shortstop Alyssa Lewis who quickly pitched to simulated second baseperson Metzger, forcing out the runner heading to second for the second out. Metzger then threw to third baseman Weekley who tagged out the sliding Eagles runner for the third out.
Designer Assist!: It was a pleasant surprise to receive an email from Steve LeShay, the actual designer of the Sherco Grand Slam Baseball game. He noticed that our earlier games showed pitchers giving up a lot of walks in each contest. A more realistic tweak of the ratings formula and a re-rating of the pitchers’ walks and strikeout number led to far less walks, and a more enjoyable ball game. Thanks for the assist, Steve!
You can still vote: Cedarville (2-15), Greeneview (7-12), and Legacy Christian (0-9) have yet to play a simulated softball game this season. And while we’re certain that SOMEBODY is reading these simulated contests and (hopefully) enjoying them, we haven’t received any votes for the next softball contest. Please send your votes to John Bombatch at [email protected] Thank you!
Got a game matchup you’d like to see? Email Sports Editor John Bombatch with your suggestions at; [email protected] .