The upstart Wiley Panthers continue to improve in 3A softball in this their first ever season. When CHSAA postponed Volleyball, the only other sport that small school female athletes play in the fall, new Superintendent Jeff Bolinger thought it was perhaps time to start the team as there were girls not only in Wiley, but also other surrounding schools like Eads and McClave who knew how to play the game.
On Tuesday, Wiley hosted the Wray Eagles in a double header that saw the Panthers control every aspect of the game, especially base running, to win the double header sweep in scores of 10-3 and 13-3.
In Game 1 Wiley took the lead 1-0 when Macy Rowen drew a walk with one out. As the next two batters worked the Wray pitcher Rowen’s aggressive baserunning brought her team their first run.
Wiley added three more runs in the bottom of the second. In that inning Anna Beckett started the assault with a triple that just hit inside the center field fence. With Beckett on third, Rachel Kopasz had a sac fly RBI to center field. Taira Weber then arrived on an error at right field and quickly got around the bases while the next three batters, Amber Kopasz, Bethany Summers and Grace White all pulled walks. Weber scored on the third walk. Unfortunately, the next two batters struck out stranding three batters on base.
Wray grabbed a run in the top of the third, and Wiley duplicated it in the bottom. Beckett drew a walk with one out and would get around to score on a Weber fielder’s choice. Wray then scored one more run in the top of the 4th inning and then held Wiley scoreless in their fourth inning at-bat leaving the score at 5-2.
But Wiley won the game in the bottom of the fifth scoring five runs. That run was started by Rachel Kopasz who drew a walk. Ellee Page then got on base with a fielder’s choice. Beckett hit in Kopasz with a single. Maggie Chase then brought in Page with a fielder’s choice. Demi Wollert than came in and hit a strong single to the fence in left field scoring Beckett. Chase and Wollert came in on an error at third base off a Grace White hit.
Weber and Beckett each had 2 RBIs and Beckett scored four times. Kopasz went 1-2 and also had a walk and an RBI.
Bethany Summers continued to own the circle for Wiley. The freshman went the distance in game 1 throwing for 7 innings and giving up just one hit and 3 runs. She walked just two batters and struck out 8.
For Wray it was Hannah Ridnour, a junior, who went the distance throwing 6 innings and giving up 5 hits, 10 runs, 5 earned runs, 6 walks and 6 strike outs.
Game 2 saw much of the same although it was a shorter game going just five innings as Wiley put the mercy run-rule on the Eagles after a big fifth inning.
Neither team scored in the first inning, but then Wiley took a 2-1 lead after two. The Panthers would open things up in the third inning scoring 4 runs. Finally, leading 8-3 after four innings, the Panthers ended the contest with 5 runs.
Maggie Chase went 1-for-1 and pulled 3 walks with 2 RBIs; Weber went 1-for-4 with an RBI; Rachel Kopasz was 1-3 and had a walk and 2 RBIs; Beckett went 1-for-3 with 2 RBIs; and Summers helped cause going 1-for-3 with 2 more RBIs.
Summers, again, was in the circle and the powerhouse went another five strong innings giving up 3 hits, 3 runs, none earned, 1 walk.
Wray pitched by committee using three throwers including Katie Torrence who went 2.2 innings giving up 6 runs; K Schwartz threw 1.1 innings and gave up 2 runs; while Larissa Solmans threw for 2 innings giving up 5 runs and one hit.
Wiley (5-2) has a key game at La Junta (2-1) on Tuesday. They will then travel to Faith Christian on Thursday.
Cover: Freshman iron horse Bethany Summers commanded the circle in both games agains Wray getting two wins for Wiley. Photo: John Contreras