Green Hornets sting Stonewall in softball

QUICKSBURG — Freshman Cheridan Hatfield led a barrage of home run hitters for Wilson Memorial’s softball team Monday as the Green Hornets romped to a 14-1 Shenandoah District toppling of Stonewall Jackson.

The Hornets (1-0 Shenandoah District, 3-1 overall) tagged Stonewall (0-2, 0-5) pitching for four round-trippers, of which Hatfield had two.

Her long balls occurred in the sixth and seventh innings as she drove in five runs on the breezy evening.

“Coach got on us to be a little more aggressive at the plate and I just tried to step up. These were my first home runs, but I thought I made good contact on both of them. I just tried to drive the ball,” said Hatfield.

Hatfield joined teammates Abby Taylor and Sam Kershner in touching up Rebels hurlers Lindsay Shifflett and Madison Long for round-trippers.

Before her team came to the plate in the top of the sixth, Wilson Coach Kim Claytor advised it to “get more out” of its at bats. To that point, the Hornets led 6-1, though Stonewall had threatened in the bottom of the fifth.

“Sometimes we get a little ‘La-La’ and you have to remind them we’re still in the game,” said Claytor. “It was just some encouragement.”

Hatfield’s grand-slam expanded the visitors’ lead (10-1) and then she returned in the very next inning to wallop a Long pitch over the left-field fence at the Stonewall diamond. Her first homer cleared center-left.

Her second homer came with two outs in the sixth. Not only did she homer twice, she also tripled.

“The wind was really blowing out and they made good contact,” said Stonewall coach Sue Rubenstein.

Though the temperatures reached into the 70s, at first pitch a southerly wind swept everything in the air to the left. The American flag in the left-field corner seemed frozen for much of the afternoon. This was the area the Hornets’ bats focused on Monday.

“We hit the ball really well today. That was good to see,” said Wilson’s Claytor.

While Hatfield was busy introducing the district to her power, other Hornets jumped in.

Taylor was 2-for-3 with a home run, a base-on-balls and two base thefts. Sam Kershner went 3-for-3 with a home run, a double and two stolen bases. Sondrol — who pitched more than two innings of relief work — had two hits, including a double, and Logan Rexrode added a two-base hit.

Wilson starter LeAnna Craig, who distributed just two hits and one run in 4 1/3 innings, had a perfect game going for more than four innings when the Generals’ bats picked up.

With one out, Madison Long and Madison Streett poked a couple of infield hits. Long stole second, but was thrown out by the Wilson catcher to third baseman Rexrode for the second out. A groundout ended the inning.

“We had something there. At least we were hitting,” said Rubenstein said.

After Wilson’s coach got the Hornets’ attention, they went to work. Wilson scored eight runs in the sixth and seventh to break open what had been a competitive encounter.

Stonewall got base-runners on in the home half of the last inning — Kelsey Hines and starting pitcher Lindsay Shifflett scratched out two hits — but the Wilson Memorial catcher fielded a clean throw from shortstop Hatfield at the plate to help snuff out the run.

Stonewall was coming off a three-game road swing against Strasburg, Central and Stuarts Draft in which it had been outscored 64-4, so the competitive effort made Rubenstein enthusiastic.

“No one’s quit and that’s important,” she said.

Meanwhile, Wilson Memorial was playing its third straight road game.