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Mudbums stays unbeaten
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Dark clouds were looming in the area Monday evening and the fields were damp from rains earlier in the day. Conditions were perfect for Mudbums to get down and dirty in arguably one of the most anticipated softball games in the girls 9-10 division thus far.
The advantage favored Mudbums again Monday as they defeated O’Reilly Auto Parts by a final score of 8-4 at the Civic Center.
Mudbums and O’Reilly Auto Parts each have strong arms inside the circle with Danika Reno throwing heat for Mudbums. Reno had five strikeouts in the three-inning contest. Bella Cantrell is no stranger inside the circle and when she throws over the plate the opposing batters have a hard time catching up to the yellow blur as it goes whizzing by.
In the top of the first, Halo Armstrong crushed a lead-off double for Mudbums. Armstrong would eventually make a short trip around the other two bases, she stole third and home to take the early 1-0 lead. Danika Reno reached after she was hit by a pitch. Reno made easy work while moving around the bases when she stole second and third base. Madelyn Powers drew a walk for Mudbums and scooted her way down to second base. With two outs, and runners at second and third, Cantrell picked up the third out for O’Reilly Auto Parts with a strikeout.
In the bottom of the first, O’Reilly Auto Parts started the inning off with a strikeout. Kara Best and Bella Cantrell reached as Reno struggled early inside the pitching circle. Cadi Beth Todd stepped into the batter’s box with two on and crushed a double that scored Best and Cantrell and O’Reilly Auto Parts claimed the lead at 2-0. Hailey Simpson, Kyra Perkins, and Abby Sullivan each drew a walk and Todd crossed the plate and O’Reilly Auto Parts led 3-1.
The defense by O’Reilly Auto Parts held in the first, but Mudbums was ready to cut loose and the “guru” was about to turn up the heat. After a lead-off strikeout, the next six batters reached base on walks. Kinslee Grissom started the offense for Mudbums with a walk. Armstrong and Reno were next to reach on walks for the Mudbums. Allison Hudson reached and runs started to cross the plate, but not by running, it was the walks by O’Reilly Auto Parts that allowed Mudbums to reclaim the lead. Powers and Ryleigh Rankin also drew a walk and the guru went after O’Reilly Auto Parts at home plate and when the final run of the inning crossed the plate, Mudbums was back in front 6-3.
The bottom of the second gave O’Reilly Auto Parts another run but the Mudbums defense picked up its intensity as well. Kaylee Skalenka drew a lead-off walk for O’Reilly Auto Parts, followed by Mia Hobbs and Best to load the bases. Cantrell blasted a single through the defense and scored Skalenka from third for a 6-4 Mudbums lead. Reno stepped back and took a deep breath and she blew through the next three batters she faced to stop the O’Reilly Auto Parts momentum before any further damage.
In the top of the third leading 6-4 it was time for Mudbums to get back out the bats. Maddox Jones and Grissom each drew a walk to start the inning. The duo had the green light to run and they wasted little time and both Jones and Grissom made quick round trips around the bases and the Mudbums lead grew to 8-4. O’Reilly Auto Parts finally caught up to the reckless abandoned base running and picked up out number two. Hudson, Powers, and Rankin loaded the bases up for Mudbums but this time a strikeout left the bases full and ended the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Perkins led off the inning with a walk and before you could blink Perkins was all the way around to third base. Unfortunately for Perkins she tested the Mudbums defense and was caught in a rundown at home where the tag was made for the first out of the inning. Sullivan, Breanna Winkler, and Skalenka quickly loaded the bases for O’Reilly Auto Parts and they were back in business. A called strike for out two left the bases full and O’Reilly Auto Parts was down to its final out and it came on a strikeout to end the game.
Mudbums continued its streak and defeated O’Reilly Auto Parts by a final score of 8-4.