Linsly Sweeps Martins Ferry in Softball Twinbill

Cadets currently stand atop of the OVAC 3A standings

Photo by Kyle Lutz Top: Linsly’s Maddie Mendendez tags out Martins Ferry’s Maria Clark as she slides into second base during Game 1 of a doubleheader Thursday at Holloway Field.

WHEELING — Going into Thursday’s doubleheader against Martins Ferry, the Linsly softball team was in prime position. The Cadets stood atop of the OVAC 3A standings and were well on their way to a semifinal appearance.

The Cadets, though, solidified its position as the top team as they came away with two victories against the Purple Riders at Holloway Field on Senior Day.

After holding off a fierce Purple Riders rally to secure a 7-5 victory in Game 1, the Cadets had to overcome some adversity in Game 2 that went to extra innings.

Haley Heitz put down a grounder with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. A bobble by the second baseman allowed Heitz to beat the throw to score the winning run, 6-5.

“That’s huge,” Linsly (14-5) coach Darryl Crews said. “We couldn’t be any more proud of the way they played and the heart they showed playing that way. It’s all good.”

Down 4-3 with one out in the bottom of the seventh in Game 2, Sophia Recrosio stepped up to the plate. Already having a single and double, she blasted a pitch that went over the center field fence to tie the game and force extra innings.

The senior also made a huge play on defense in the opener. Recrosio fielded a ball hit by Martins Ferry’s (9-10) Jaden Salder. Already with a runner on base, she fired a throw home from center field to catcher Sarah Heller, who made a tag to secure a huge out as the score read 7-5 in favor of the Cadets.

“I think the team as a whole has grown tremendously since the beginning of the season,” Recrosio said about the two victories. “I don’t think any of us could preform to the best of our ability if it weren’t for having everybody behind eachother’s backs all the time. There’s such a positive energy in our dugout and with our coaches that it makes it easy to succeed.”

In total, Recrosio had two singles, two doubles, a home run and six RBI.

“She’s a great softball player,” Crews said. “We’re so thrilled to have her here. She is a hard worker. She is a good citizen. We know, without a doubt, we’re going to get her very best everytime she steps on the field.”

In the second game, with the score tied at 3-3 in the top of the sixth, the Purple Riders took the lead. After a leadoff walk by Shelby Thomas, Sydni Trudo put down a nice sacrifice bunt, After getting the out at first, an error throw to third allowed the Purple Riders to take the lead.

After Recrosio’s homer extended the game to extras, the Puple Riders, went ahead again. Maria Clark’s RBI single put the score at 5-4 in the top of the ninth. However, the Cadets answered the call.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Annabelle Blosser was walked that tied the game. Heitz followed with her grounder that sealed it.

“We didn’t play our game very well (Thursday), Martins Ferry coach Paige Williams. “Hats off to Linsly. They hit the ball really well. Sometimes it’s not your day.”

Martins Ferry showed a little sign of resilency in Game 1. After giving up seven runs in the first two innings, the Purple Riders scored five unanswered, but the hole was too big. Abby Bumbico and Stalder had two singles while Hunter Pollock secured a RBI double in the opener for the Purple Riders.

In Game 2, Clark compiled three singles and three RBI, while Alea Funkhouser and Stalder had two singles. Pollock was also solid with single and double.

“We had a couple of baserunning errors,” Williams said. “But they earned it. They earned it and we didn’t. We didn’t play well enough to win.”

Karena Recrosio had a career day as she tallied three singles and one double in Game 1 and belted two singles in the nightcap.

Heitz totaled a triple, two singles and three RBI while Maddie Menendez, Sarah Heller and Lizzie Stern all compiled a single and double.

Kelsey Smith was a machine inside the circle for the Cadets going the distance in Game 1 while tossing seven innings in Game 2.

“It’s wonderful and I’m so thrilled for these girls that they get to experience it,” Crews said. “Some of them haven’t got to experience this before. So, it’s not only a good softball experience, but a good life experience.”

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