R-S girls open regional play with shutout of Nevada

Todd ThorsonSports Writertthorson@storycityherald.com
R-S girls open regional play with shutout of Nevada

The Roland-Story girls started off post season play on a positive note, shutting out Nevada 12-0 Wednesday night (July 6) at Roland in their 3A Regional opener. Pitcher Sydney Mathis threw a one hitter for the Norse, going the distance and limiting the Cubs to just one hit - a double in the bottom of the seventh when the game was pretty much out of reach. Sydney struck out five and walked no one, in what was one of her best performances of the season.

“Sydney threw a fantastic game,” said Coach Amber Doyle, “and we played well behind her.”

The Norsemen jumped out early, scoring two in the top of the first and added four more in the third to grab a 6-0 lead. the game was put away in the seventh when Jenna Clark stepped to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded. She then crushed a 1-2 pitch to left-center for a grand slam, scoring Jade Elliott, her sister Juliann Clark and Susie Weaver ahead of her. It was Jenna’s first home run. The Norse scored six runs in the inning, with Mathis and Jessica Hovick also scoring prior to Jenna’s home run. A couple of Nevada errors also contributed to the R-S outburst.

The Norse collected 11 hits in the game, led by Juliann Clark’s 4 for 5 performance from the lead off spot. Juliann also scored three runs and drove in three. Her sister Jenna had two hits and four RBIs. Kelsey Polaski had two hits and two RBIs. And Mathis not only pitched very well, but she was 2 for 4 at the plate. Hailey Louw had the other R-S hit.

“It was easier to play tough defense when we were playing so well offensively. Juliann (Clark) did a nice job of sparking our offense in the lead off spot. I was (also) happy for Jenna (Clark) getting her first home run, which just happened to be a grand slam with her sister on base. What a fun moment for the two of them.”

The scoring for the Norsemen began in the first inning when Juliann Clark reached on an error and was sacrificed to second by Susie Weaver. After Hailey Louw walked, Jenna Clark reached on another Cub errror that allowed Juliann to score. Louw would eventually score when Kelsey Polaski also reached on an error - the third Nevada miscue of the inning. The Cubs would go on to have eight errors in the game.

In the third, Polaski led off with a double. Mathis then singled, moving Kelsey to third. After Mathis’ courtesy runner Jessica Eslick stole second, Brooke Huffaker reached on an error, scoring Polaski. Then, with two outs, Juliann Clark lined a double to left on a 1-2 count. That scored Eslick and Huffaker’s courtesy runner MaKayla Geise. Juliann would soon score on yet another error, as Susie Weaver reached base.

“I was really proud of the enthusiasm the girls showed and the adjustments they made at the plate,” added Doyle. “We only scored one run off their pitcher a few weeks ago, so it was nice that they created big innings.”

With the victory, Roland-Story went on to face Solon on Friday night (July 8) in the next round of the 3A Regional at Solon. Solon was a 5-2 winner over Williamsburg.