Pitching! Hitting! Defense! The Golden Eagles had it all Wednesday.
Big Walnut, behind the left arm of Kate Petty, the bat of Brooke Hatfield and a solid team defense, handed Franklin Heights a 9-0 loss in an Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division matchup Wednesday (April 23) evening in Sunbury.
Petty, coming off a 1-0 no-hitter against OCC rival New Albany on Wednesday, April 16 and a 7-0, 3-hit decision over Cardington on Saturday, April 19, shut down the Golden Falcons with a complete-game 3-hit shutout. She faced only 24 batters in 7 innings, allowing three singles while walking none and striking out 8. Petty recorded 8 groundball outs.
“Kate has been on a roll recently,” Big Walnut head coach Jeff Hatfield said. “She did a good job pitching ahead in the count and forcing Heights to hit the ball on the ground. Only two Falcon runners reached second base. And we backed her with a solid defense.”
The Golden Eagles backed her with a 10-hit attack that included a 3-run blast over the left field fence by Hatfield with two put in the bottom of the fourth inning. Hatfield’s homer gave Big Walnut a 6-0 lead.
“We did a nice job putting the ball in play and taking advantage of our scoring opportunities,” coach Hatfield said. “We’ve been up and down the past week and, hopefully this game will give us the momentum we need going into the second half of the season.”
Big Walnut (10-5, 3-2 OCC Capital) took an early 2-0 lead off Franklin Heights’ starting and losing pitcher Mackenzie Nicholl. The Golden Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the first without the benefit of a hit, turning two walks and two fielder choices into a run. In the second, Jessica Coletta led off with a triple down the right field foul line and came around to scorer when Falcon right Savannah Harbour overthrew her third baseman.
In the 4-run fourth, the Golden Eagles Britni Hayes walked. moved to second on a fielder’ choice and scored on Katelyn Cheadle’s sharp single to left with Shelbie Borchers moving to second. Hatfield quickly cleared the bases with her circuit clout for the 6-run advantage.
The Golden Eagles tacked on three runs in the fifth on four singles with Sara Petty singling home Shaye Kuhlman and Leah Shaw who led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Petty came around to score on Borchers’ base hit.
Hatfield, 2-for-2 with a run and 3 RBI, and Sara Petty, 2-for-2 with a run and 2 RBI, led Big Walnut at the plate. Borchers, who hit in the leadoff spot, was 1-for-2 with 2 runs, 2 walks and a run batted in. Coletta was 1-for-3 with a triple and a run. Kuhlman and Cheadle each contributed a hit, a run and an RBI.
Franklin Heights (4-7, 1-6 OCC) Kayla Morris collected two of the Falcons’ three hits, both singles. Cierra Masterson also singled in the loss. Nicholl worked the first four innings in taking the mound loss for Heights. She gave up 6 runs, all earned, on 6 hits, 3 walks while striking out one.
BIG WALNUT 3, OLENTANGY 0 — Kate Petty continues to dominate the center of the diamond.
Petty recorded her third shutout since April 16 when she blanked the rival Braves in an Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division matchup on Friday, April 25, in Sunbury.
Petty, who raised her season record to 10-4 with a 1.70 earned run average, twirled a one-hitter at Olentangy while walking 2 and striking out 9. The lone Braves’ hit was a double.
Big Walnut (11-5, 4-2 OCC), who collected 7 hits, scored all three of its runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Seven different Golden Eagles collected hits a total of 7 hits, led by Jessica Coletta, who was 1-for-3 with 2 runs batted in, and Brooke Hatfield, who was 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Hayley Apple and Shayne Kuhlman were also 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Shelbie Borchers, Katelyn Cheadle and Sara Petty joined the hit parade with 1-for-3 efforts.
BIG WALNUT 8, BUCKEYE VALLEY 7 — The Barons clobbered three home runs, but they weren’t enough as the host Golden Eagles scored a pair of late runs to score a tight 8-7 non-conference win Tuesday (April 22) in Sunbury.
The Barons (5-7) got on the scoreboard first, tallying a run in the opening inning on a Morris solo homer before adding three more in the second to take a 4-0 lead.
The Golden Eagles (9-5) answered with a run in the bottom of the third, but BV promptly widened the margin to five at 6-1 when Lydia Albaugh connected for a two-run homer in the fourth.
Big Walnut was far from done, though. The Golden Eagles closed to within three of the lead thanks to a three-run fourth and, after the Barons’ Linn blasted her team’s third homer in the fifth, another solo shot, the hosts scored twice in the bottom of the fifth and two more times in the sixth to record the win.
Shelbie Borchers led the Golden Eagle offense with two hits, two RBIs, including the game-winner, a run and three steals. Sara Petty was also solid in the win, finishing 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.