Swanton grabbed the lead with a three-run bottom of the second inning and never looked back from there, besting visiting Montpelier 8-4 Monday in the softball season opener.
“Senior catcher Rachel Waszak was very solid behind the plate. Nice to get the opening day home win,” said Bulldog head coach Joe Nye on what stood out to him in the win.
He also pointed out how good pitcher Brianna Williams was. She recorded 10 strikeouts in the circle, along with belting a home run and double at the plate.
Down 2-1 through 1 1/2 innings, the Bulldogs grabbed the lead in the home half of the second. With a pair of runners in scoring position, Waszak’s ground out plated Kailey Brownfield to knot the score. They then broke the tie when Emma Operacz followed with a base hit scoring Kylie Shinavar.
Swanton kept the line moving as Williams singled to left. Bailey Arnold beat a throw to first loading the bases, which made Trista Eitniear getting hit by a pitch a play to score another run for a 4-2 Bulldog advantage.
Fast forward to the next half inning, the Locomotives got a run back. Similar to how Swanton scored their first run of the last half inning, Kyndra Abrams’ one-out ground out with the bases full brought home a run and sliced their deficit in half.
However, Williams got out of the frame by drawing a pop up off the bat of Kaycee Humbarger.
The two squads exchanged runs in the bottom of the third and top of the fourth innings. Waszak’s two-out RBI single plated Shinavar in the third and Jessi Bumb homered for Montpelier with one out in the fourth.
Swanton got their own home run in the home half of the fourth when Williams went yard over the fence in left field, putting the lead at 6-4.
The Dogs closed the scoring in their half of the sixth. Williams doubled to center after an out, then she was plated by way of Arnold’s base hit.
The next run was scored following a Trista Eitniear base hit. Amy Lawson came next and hit a fielder’s choice which saw Eitniear put out at second; however, in Montpelier’s attempt to turn a double play, the throw to first went out of play scoring Arnold for the 8-4 final margin.
Williams slammed the door on the Locomotives in the final three innings, recording six of her 10 strikeouts during that span — striking out the side in both the fifth and the seventh.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.