Ansbro, Falcons topple George Mason

WOODSTOCK — Bekah Ansbro didn’t feel like she had her best stuff Wednesday night, but the Central junior pitcher was glad she had catcher Kylie Stottlemyer to help her out.

Ansbro allowed only four hits and got out of a couple jams to help Central to a 2-0 victory over George Mason in Bull Run District softball action.

“It wasn’t my best night, but I got to give credit where it’s due. My catcher Kylie Stottlemyer did a great job really talking me down, and making sure I stayed focused instead of getting too frustrated and wild.”

Ansbro said she and Stottlemyer talk before every inning and the talks help to keep her calm and focused.

Ansbro still managed to have 16 strikeouts in the win, but found herself in a couple tough situations in the circle against the Mustangs.

With Central leading 2-0 in the top of the third, George Mason’s Danielle Wisemiller drew a two-out walk. Tea Abbracciamento reached on an error, and Micaela Albright singled to load the bases.

“At that point I’m just thinking get an out,” Ansbro said. “I know a lot of girls try to think I’ve got to strike them out, because if they hit the ball there’s a likelihood that the runner on third and possibly second are going to score. I just think, ‘Try to throw a ground ball, try to throw pop flies and my defense is going to have my back.'”

Her defense did have her back, as George Mason’s Julia Ferris grounded out to end the inning.

The Mustangs (0-3, 0-3 Bull Run) had another chance in the top of the sixth. Abbracciamento reached on an infield single, and with one out Ferris singled. Ansbro struck out back-to-back Mustangs to end the threat.

“Bekah is very resilient and so Bekah endures, and that’s exactly what she did,” Central coach Lisa Rhodes said. “Come crunch time, she put her foot down. There were some innings that really tested her guts.”

Ansbro said that the Mustangs weren’t swinging on her rise ball like she wanted them to on Wednesday.

“My rise ball was moving well, but I’ve got to credit to George Mason — they were not biting on it,” Ansbro said. “That was a little frustrating for a rise ball pitcher. But I really just tried hitting spots with my fastball and that seemed to work.”

Ansbro helped herself at the plate. Brooke Sager singled with one out in the bottom of the first and stole second. With two outs, Ansbro doubled to center field to score Sager. Ansbro, who already has three home runs this season, just missed another one as the ball fell just short of the fence.

“I was listening to coach Hunt all the way hoping he’d say slow up and he just kept yelling ‘Go, go, go,” Ansbro said. “I read the changeup coming in and all my other home runs were changeups, so I really sat back and tried to whale on it — just not quite enough. I still got an RBI out of that. I’m not looking to hit home runs, I’m looking to move runners around and that’s what I did.”

Central’s Mariyah Viar followed with an RBI single to extend the lead to 2-0. The Falcons had a runner reach third in the second, but never really threatened to score the rest of the way.

Ferris struck out eight for the Mustangs. George Mason coach Brian Fowler said he was pleased with how his team played.

“To come out here to a good ballclub like that and battle to 2-0, I’ll take it every time,” Fowler said. “Last two games we gave them both away in the seventh and that was to Warren and Clarke. … I feel pretty good about this group.”

Central (4-0, 2-0 Bull Run) has only given up one run in its first four games. The Falcons will have another tough test Friday as they play at Clarke County.

Ansbro said the team is trying to stay in the moment and not look ahead.

“We’re just taking it one day at a time, and the good Lord willing things will work out,” Ansbro said.

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com