Wildcats bounce back with lopsided victory over Mustangs

FRONT ROYAL — After two tough losses last week, Warren County’s softball team got just what it was looking for Monday.

The Wildcats took an early lead and cruised to a 17-1 home victory over George Mason in Bull Run District action. The game was called after five innings due to the mercy rule.

“We knew that they were a little weaker and sometimes these games get you back on track a little bit,” Warren County coach Justin Stock said. “We had two tough games last week.”

The Wildcats (6-8, 6-3 Bull Run) saw the lead evaporate in both losses to Skyline and William Monroe last week.

They didn’t allow that to happen against George Mason. Warren County pounded out 15 hits and took advantage of seven Mustang errors.

“We came out pretty strong, hit the ball pretty well,” Warren County’s Macie Clerkley said. “So I’d say it was a pretty good game.”

The Wildcats scored four runs in the bottom of the first.

Warren County’s Arianna Smoot reached on an error, Jayda Saulsbury followed with a single.

Elizabeth Keener’s two-run double gave Warren County a 2-0 edge. Clerkley followed with an RBI double.

“I was kind of calm and ready to hit,” said Clerkley, who had a team-high four hits.

Anneslee Cockrell singled and Savanna Haffer’s RBI single extended the lead to 4-0.

The Wildcats pulled away in the bottom of the third. Clerkley reached base on a single and an error and moved to third on a wild pitch. Cockrell also reached base on an RBI single and an error and moved to third on a wild pitch.

With one out, Ramsey Young had an RBI double to stretch the lead to 6-0. Amalia Abrego and Morgan Coons each reached on an error to score another run.

A sacrifice fly by Smoot, an RBI single by Keener and an RBI single by Clerkley gave the Wildcats a 10-0 edge.

The Mustangs were able to score a run in the top of the third off Warren County reliever Alegend Baltimore-Lane.

The Wildcats came right back with seven in the bottom of the fourth, including a solo home run and an RBI single by Sam Perea off the bench.

Stock said that he was able to get everyone who was available into the game. He said Cockrell threw a combined 304 pitches in last week’s two losses, and he wanted her to get some rest. He said it was also a good experience for Baltimore-Lane to pitch a few innings.

The Wildcats play at Strasburg tonight and then are at Group 2A powerhouse Madison County on Wednesday.

Keener said the victory over the Mustangs could be a good confidence booster.

“These games are what we need to be ready for our next games,” Keener said.

Katie Mills had two hits to lead the Mustangs.

Clerkley had four RBIs to lead the Wildcats. Keener and Perea had two hits and two RBIs, and Smoot had two RBIs for Warren County.

Clerkley said she feels pretty good about what the team can accomplish the rest of the season.

“I feel pretty confident in the skill of our team and just the team in general,” Clerkley said. “We have a lot of great people out here that can play ball very well. So I’m excited to see what we do in the playoffs and the rest of the season.”

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