Cats sweep Tornadoes

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

EUREKA — Eighteen was the number for Yates Center High’s Wildcats Thursday in their 2009 softball season opening doubleheader. In both games, the Wildcats scored 18 runs and won.
The first game was a bit easier for the visiting Cats as they defeated host Eureka High’s Tornadoes 18-7. Yates Center had to play catch-up until the fifth inning as it went on to win 18-13.
Yates Center is 2-0 in Tri-Valley League play and overall. Next up for the Wildcats is a trip to Neodesha for league action Monday.
“We were rocky the first two innings with six errors but played the next five innings error free,” said Kathe Hamman, Wildcat softball head coach, of the first game. “One of our goals was to take advantage of runners on base and not leave them out there. We did score 18 runs but still stranded 10 runners on the bases.”
Jessica Grisier and Sabra Aguirre were the Yates Center starting battery of the day. Grisier struck out seven Tornado batters in the first game and walked four.
Yates Center opened the game with a five-run first inning but trailed 6-5 going into the third innings. The Wildcats scored two runs each in the next three innings and led 12-7 after six innings then plated six more runs in the seventh.
Drew Spencer connected for a double and two singles and drove in two runs for the Wildcats. Aguirre, Yates Center’s catcher, had a double and two singles and Skyler Claibourn ran the bases for Aguirre, scoring three times. Hitting a single each were Daryean Estes, Autumn Douglas, Marque Surles and Caitlin Ralstin.
Eureka took control of the second game with a 6-2 lead by the end of the third inning. Yates Center tied the game up with four runs in the fourth but Eureka produced six runs in its half of the inning.
“We started off slow in the second game, going after some bad pitches and popping the ball up. In the fourth inning, our bats settled down and we scored.” Hamman said.
Grisier pitched the first three innings of the second game, striking out four and walking five. Estes came on in relief, striking out seven and walking nine. Aguirre was behind the plate for both games.
“Daryean is a freshman and first-game nerves were evident but our defense came on strong the last three innings after we gained the lead,” Hamman said.
Trailing 12-6 going into the fifth inning, the Wildcats came up with six runs to tie the game again in the fifth. They manufactured two runs in the sixth to take the lead 14-6 then added four more in seventh. Eureka scored a run in the bottom of the seventh.
Aguirre delivered a double, a triple and a single and drove in three runs in the second game. Jessica Hartwig had three singles. Kassy Reynolds hit a triple and a single. Estes, Douglas and Ralstin each had two singles. Spencer and Tia Green each had a single.