Central tops Skyline in extras

Central players mob Shennan Waldron after she scored the winning run Monday night to edge out Skyline, 1-0, in a non-district softball game in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

WOODSTOCK — Mariyah Viar knew what she had to do.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning, Viar understood the situation and the Central junior delivered. Viar’s walk off infield single gave the Falcons a 1-0 eight-inning victory over Skyline in non-district softball action Monday night.

“It just felt so amazing,” Viar said.

In Viar’s last at-bat, she sent a shot to Skyline second baseman Michala Craig, which Craig was able to handle to end the sixth inning with a runner on second. Central coach Lisa Rhodes said she reminded her of that right before her eighth-inning at-bat.

“I told her, ‘You got to approach it the same way again,'” Rhodes said. “‘You got to come out swinging. You got to be aggressive’ and she did, and she had a big ol’ smile on her face the whole time when I walked up to her. She had a smile on her face like I knew that’s what she wanted — and she did it.”

Central's Rebekah Ansbro fires a pitch during a game Monday night against Skyline in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

Viar sent a shot at Skyline pitcher Carrie Robinson, which bounced off her glove and bounced away. Robinson looked around but had no plays anywhere as Waldron scored the game’s only run.

“There was just no play. It hit off her glove, it bounced away and by the time she picked it up they were going,” Skyline coach Frank Nelson said. “There was two outs and they were going. It’s not a case of the better team winning, it was just the team that had more breaks tonight. I think if we play them 10 times, I think it’s a five-and-five split.”

The Falcons (6-0, 3-0 Bull Run) had trouble most of the game against Robinson, but began to have more success in the later innings. In the bottom of the eighth, Shennan Waldron had a one-out infield single.

Central sophomore Brooke Sager followed with a bunt single.

“I told her before she went up, I said, ‘Bunts win these games, Brooke. They win these games,'” Rhodes said. “She got that bunt down and it was perfect.”

Skyline pitcher Carrie Robinson fires a pitch during a game against Central on Monday night in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

One out later, Central junior Bekah Ansbro drew a walk to load the bases and sent Viar to the plate.

Most of the game was a pitcher’s duel between Robinson and Ansbro. Robinson struck out 14. She allowed only four hits, three of them coming in the eighth inning.

“She’s pitched really well,” Nelson said of Robinson. “Last year she had a tough year for us. Hannah Ritter came in and helped us out, but this year we couldn’t ask anything more — plus she’s hitting the ball.

“It was just a real good game. I think you’re not going to find two better pitchers.”

Ansbro was equally strong for the Falcons. She struck out 16 and allowed only two hits.

“My rise ball was really working for me,” Ansbro said. “They were swinging at it. I could see them getting a little frustrated, so we just kept throwing it and they kept swinging.”

The two teams entered the game having outscored opponents 85-3. The Falcons have still only allowed one run so far this season. Both teams are in Conference 28 and will play again at Skyline (3-1, 1-0 Northwestern) on April 27.

Skyline’s Jessica Sims and Sam Santmyers each had a hit. Nelson said there were a lot of positives to take from the loss.

“We had our opportunities. Both teams went right down to the wire,” Nelson said. “You go eight innings, you lose 1-0. I told the girls we can play with anybody now.”

Rhodes said she loves these kind of games, and found out a lot about her team in the victory.

“Their guts, their hunger, their teamwork,” Rhodes said of what she discovered about her team. “Bekah did very well, but Bekah wasn’t the game tonight — at all. They read her and they decided not to pitch to her. And we had other girls answer all around. It was just a great effort by everybody. There wasn’t a standout tonight for me. They all did very, very well.”

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