‘The Nine’ Winning Softball Games
After an opponent scores, coaches sometimes say, “No problem. We were going to have to score to win anyway.” These words were never more true than for The Nine during the USSSA qualifier as four of the five games they played ended in shutouts.
The weekend began with the first shutout being thrown by Monica Curtis in a 13-0 victory for The Nine over Firestorm. Erinn Clegg drove in four runs on a pair of hits. Davianne Croasmun and Abby Durig each knocked in three on a pair of hits. Curtis, Haylee Bowers, and Mackenzie Marshall each contributed an RBI.
Another shutout was thrown in the second game of pool play but, unfortunately, The Nine fell to a familiar foe, Ballistix, by a score of 9-0.
The final game of pool play was the only game all weekend in which both teams produced runs. This time, The Nine matched its highest total of the summer in a 14-8 victory over the Ritchie County Rage. The Paden City combination of Graeson Baker and Taylor Cosper did the biggest damage by driving in four and three runs, respectively.
Curtis, Croasmun, and Clegg each pushed one across the plate. Magnolia’s Kelsi Chapman had a hit and an RBI for the Rage.
The single-elimination round saw a familiar pattern for this summer as The Nine was given a rematch with Firestorm. Curtis stole the show by throwing a two-hit shutout and driving in a whopping five runs in a 9-0 win. Marshall and Durig split the other four runs knocked in.
The semifinals brought back Ballistix in the fourth and final shutout of the weekend. However, the last goose egg ended up in the run column for The Nine, as Ballistix advanced to the championship game after a 7-0 win.
The Nine next plan to participate in the NSA tournament Softball in the Hills at the I-470 complex in Wheeling, where the team intends to continue its streak of finishing no lower than third place, as they have all summer.