Six-run fifth inning lifts Rams past Generals

Strasburg's Taylor Bowers safely steals second as Stonewall's shortstop Israel Blank tries to field the throw during first inning action Monday evening in Quicksburg. Rich Cooley/Daily

QUICKSBURG – It took Strasburg a little time to heat up on a cold, blustery day, but once the Rams did it was enough to pull out a victory.

The Rams used a six-run fifth inning to pull out an 8-1 softball win over Shenandoah County rival Stonewall Jackson on Monday.

“We had a slow start, but we stuck with it and capitalized on some of their mistakes,” Strasburg coach Suzanne Mathias said. “We finally hit the ball, and had some good base running there to kind of kickstart us and get us going.”

Strasburg took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Madi Foltz was hit by a pitch from Stonewall Jackson’s Kelsey Hines to start the inning. With one out, Kaitlyn Capps’ RBI triple gave the Rams a 1-0 advantage.

Through four innings, the Rams had only two hits off Hines and the Generals had played error-free ball. That changed in the top of the fifth.

Strasburg's Kaitlyn Capps, left, greets teammate Delainey Stickley, right, after Capps scored a run during a game Quicksburg earlier this season. Capps is rounding back into form after a breakout freshman season in 2017. Rich Cooley/Daily

With one out, Foltz singled and stole second. Strasburg’s Taylor Bowers singled and eventually stole second. Capps singled and reached third on a two-base error to give Strasburg a 3-0 lead.

“I was just looking for a base hit to get the runners home,” Capps said.

Natalie Hott’s RBI double to left field extended the lead to 4-0.

Delainey Stickley followed with an RBI single and went to second on an error. Gracie McDonald reached on another error.

Stonewall Jackson coach Angie Fisher said her team has struggled with making multiple errors in at least one inning every game this season. The Generals committed three of their five errors in the fifth inning Monday.

Stonewall second baseman Katelyn Silvious hangs onto the ball after she and shortstop Israel Blank chased down an infield fly ball during fifth inning action Monday evening in Quicksburg. Rich Cooley/Daily

“The fifth inning killed us,” Stonewall Jackson coach Angie Fisher said. ” I knew going into the fifth, I was like, we got to be solid and I guess I jinxed us. We’re trying to improve (on cutting down the errors), get that out of our system.”

Stickley stole home on a delayed steal to stretch the lead to 6-0. Strasburg’s Kassy Bly followed with an RBI double.

Each team scored one run in the sixth. Bowers singled and went to second on an error and eventually scored on a wild pitch for the Rams.

Stonewall Jackson’s Constance Polk singled off Foltz and eventually scored on an error.

The Generals (0-7) had plenty of opportunities to score throughout the game. Twice the Generals left the bases loaded to end an inning.

Strasburg's Madi Foltz slides safely into second during a fifth inning steal as Stonewall's Israel Blank puts on a late tag Monday evening in Quicksburg. Rich Cooley/Daily

“The girls put the bat on the ball, we just couldn’t find any holes,” Fisher said.

The Generals were led at the plate by Polk with three singles. Hines pitched the whole game and struck out six.

Stonewall Jackson’s program has been struggling for a number of years, and Fisher said she’s seen some improvement. The Generals have had three games this season that didn’t end early due to the mercy rule, which is a 10-run lead after five innings.

“Our goal is right now to be competitive and go seven innings,” Fisher said. “Each game that goes seven innings is a win for us. The scoreboard might show us losing, but seven innings today is definitely a win for us.”

The Rams (2-3) were led at the plate by Capps with two hits and three RBIs and Bowers with two hits. Foltz threw the complete game and struck out seven.

The Rams have a very young squad with only two seniors and six sophomores and a freshman, but Mathias said she’s happy with her team.

“At times it’s frustrating, but at the same time to watch them and their ability is exciting,” Mathias said. “They’re good at what they do. It’s just keeping them prepared and focused is what’s the challenge right now. We’ll get there. The more we play the stronger they’re going to get.”