Rams rally past Jackets

STRASBURG — Strasburg softball coach Suzanne Mathias prides her team on having versatile players.

Perhaps no one was more versatile Monday night than veteran Carey Scott. Scott’s timely hitting and relief pitching led the Rams (4-1) to a come-from behind 17-12 verdict over visiting Moorefield (West Virginia) in the first round of the Ram Classic. It was the Yellow Jackets’ opener.

The preliminary game went to Buffalo Gap (3-0), which trounced East Hardy (West Virginia) 14-4 at Strasburg’s Perry-Judd’s Field on the campus of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The remainder of the tournament will be made up at a later date, since at least Strasburg had another regular-season game scheduled for Tuesday. This tournament had been moved from its original Friday-Saturday version due to a wet field.

“Carey has been with me for three years, so I know her pretty well. She was hyped up at the beginning of the game, but I knew I could count on her at the end,” Mathias said.

The score was tied 11-11 when Scott came to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two on, she hit a pitch from Moorefield reliever Alisha Redmon that skittered past first base and plated two runs. That pair of scores would hold up as the game winners.

For the night, Scott, who started the game at third base but came in for middle reliever Olivia Gochenour in the top of the sixth, slammed a pair of doubles and two singles in five at-bats.

She scored three runs and drove in two more.

“When I’m the lead-off hitter I just want to try my best to get on base. I think if I hit, the rest of the team will, too. I just try to start it off,” said Scott.

Her teammates followed suit to score six runs in the inning. Then, Scott turned around and permitted just one run to cross the plate in two innings from the pitching circle.

For her time on the mound, she gave up two hits, walked two and gave up an unearned run.

Interestingly, the second out of her final inning went to third-baseman Gochenour, who cleanly gloved a hard shot and threw out a runner at the plate. The bases had been loaded.

Gochenour started the game at first, moved to pitcher and finished up at third. Like
Scott, she had a fine night at the plate. Gochenour got three hits in five trips to the plate, scored two runs and knocked in four.

“It pays to have players who can do more than one thing,” Mathias said.

Scott and Gochenour were not the only Rams who feasted Yellow Jackets pitching. Cortney McDonald was 3-for-4 with four runs scored and three more batted in. Mychala Brannon went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Emily Melnikoff was 2-for-4 with a triple, a run scored and an RBI.

Ariel Reed was 3-for-5 for Moorefield, including a double. Bethany Smith, Tara George and Sumer Flinn each contributed two hits. Cheyenne Linder delivered a home run that went over the center-field fence and hit the concrete outdoor basketball court behind the fence.

Scott, who with Gochenour, relieved starter Katie Smoot, got into a jam in the bottom of the top of the seventh when she walked two, but Mathias rode it out.

“I had faith in her. Maybe if she walks another hitter, I think about it, but she came through,” Mathias said.

Strasburg scored three runs in the first, six in the second, two in the fifth and six in the sixth to outlast Moorefield. The Yellow Jackets put up four in the first, five in the third, two in the fourth and one in the fifth.