Wolverines shut out Cherokee 10-0

Published 3:48 pm Monday, April 18, 2011

Polk captains Haley Champion (left), Kara Garvin, Jamie Hrobak and Alyssa Montgomery clown around before the game against Cherokee Thursday, April 14. (photo by Daniel Hecht)

Following last Tuesday’s 11-2 humbling at the hands of conference rival Mountain Heritage, Polk head coach Jeff Wilson told his young squad not to hang their heads.
“The mark of a good team, and we are a very good team, is that we refuse to let a defeat like that define us,” said Wilson. “I told the girls that we’d come back out next game and battle again.”
Prior to Thursday’s non-conference showdown, Wilson huddled the ladies again.
“I asked the team for two things today – a good attitude and to put their hearts into the game,” Wilson said.
The Lady Wolverines responded enthusiastically to both requests as they took it to visiting Cherokee High School, shutting out a talented Lady Braves squad by a score of 10-0. The game was called by mercy rule after five innings.
Jamie Hrobak reasserted her ownership of the pitcher’s circle, giving up just one hit in five innings of work while facing the minimum 15 batters. Hrobak struck out five on her way to earning her 13th win of the year and the 42nd of her career.
Perhaps even more impressive was the defensive play of Hrobak’s teammates, backstopping the junior pitcher with an errorless performance that was without question their most polished effort of the season.
Defensive gems included a nifty 4-3 double play by freshman Brittany Jones, ranging from her position at second to backhand a sharply hit ball up the middle, step on second and fire to Cassie Couch to gun down the runner at first.
Each of Polk’s outfielders – Amber Lynch, Shalyn Brown and Shea Wheeler – turned in solid plays that denied Cherokee batters of extra base hits on several occasions.
“I told the girls we’ve just barely seen the tip of the iceberg,” said Wilson. “We’re getting to see a lot more of what we can do. Our defense is definitely improving.”
Offensively, the Lady Wolverines were led by Kara Garvin, who went 3 for 3 on the afternoon with 3 RBIs, including a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth. Brown went 1 for 2 with a walk, while Lynch reached in all three trips, leading off the fourth with a single and walking twice. Yancy Pace, Cavin Richards, Hrobak, Couch and Wheeler all contributed base hits to the effort. Casey McDowell scored the winning run as Erica Painter worked Cherokee’s Bree Smith for an RBI walk.
With the victory, Polk improves to 13-4 on the season. The Lady Braves will have an opportunity to avenge the loss on April 25 as play resumes following spring break and the Lady Wolverines travel to Cherokee.

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