Owen Warlassies deal Polk softball first conference loss 4-1

Published 5:17 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2011

From a historical perspective, Coach Jeff Wilson’s Lady Wolverines had little reason to feel confident prior to hitting the road Friday, April 1 to take on the Warlassies of Owen High School. After all, only once in 16 previous visits had a Wilson-led squad managed to emerge victorious from the hinterland of Black Mountain, a place where softball is religion and excellence is expected.

Polk’s Alyssa Montgomery went 2 for 3 in a loss to conference foe Owen Friday. (photo by Dan Hecht)

Then again, this is not your typical Polk County softball team. With a record of 9-1 on the year, including a win over top-ranked Swain County, the 2011 Lady Wolverines are a talented group, and Friday’s skirmish, with first place in the Western Highlands conference on the line, promised to be a dandy of a contest.
Alyssa Montgomery got things started quickly for Polk with two outs in the top of the first, driving a Taylor Fisher offering to right center. Jamie Hrobak followed with a line drive to left, and after Cassie Couch drove home Montgomery with a base hit to right field, Polk led 1-0 going into the bottom of the first.
Undaunted, Owen answered with two runs of their own in the first, as key hits by Stephanie Jones and Courtney Warren, aided by two costly Polk errors, gave the Warlassies a 2-1 edge at the end of one. Owen never looked back, adding two more runs in the fifth for the 4-1 victory.
As so often is the case when two top teams square off, pitching and defense ruled the day. While Polk’s Jamie Hrobak enjoyed a strong performance, striking out 10 and walking none, the Lady Wolverines wound up committing six costly defensive miscues on the afternoon. Meanwhile, a well-oiled Owen machine turned in an error-free performance, as Owen’s Fisher went the distance, giving up just one more hit for a total of four, striking out six and walking none.
“We didn’t deserve to win,” Polk assistant coach Jamie Thompson said following the game. “They made the plays and we didn’t.”
A clearly disappointed Wilson agreed with Thompson’s assessment.
“We didn’t play well enough to win,” said Wilson. “We’ve got to get back to work, and hopefully continue to get better.”
With the victory, Owen assumes sole possession of first place in the Western Highlands conference, while Polk falls to 9-2 on the season and 4-1 in conference play.

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