Polk defeats Madison, E. Rutherford in softball

Published 10:33 pm Thursday, April 2, 2015

By Mark Schmerling


Two big wins are in the bank for Polk County’s varsity softball team this week, as the Wolverines upped their season mark to 10-1, and their Western Highlands-leading mark to 5-0, when they edged a very good Madison team, 5-4, in eight innings at Columbus on Wednesday, April 1.

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Madison came into the contest at 5-1 overall and 4-0 in the WHC.


Playing near perfect ball on Monday, March 30, the Wolverines earned possibly their biggest non-conference win of the season and a confidence booster as well, when they defeated defending AA state champion East Rutherford, 9-3 at Forest City.


Ashley Scruggs earned her ninth win of the season with that win. Only one Cavalier batter struck out, forcing Polk to execute 20 outs in the field. Many of Scruggs’s pitches were bunted or slapped (more slaps than bunts), said coach Jeff Wilson, with first- and second-base tenders Haley Fowler and Amanda Gosnell, respectively, pounding on those, and turning them into outs.


“Haley Fowler and Maranda Gosnell made play after play,” related an impressed Wilson.


In addition, Hayley Kropp made two fine plays at shortstop, while contributing two hits. Autumn Owen smacked three hits for Polk, with teammates Gosnell (2-for-3 with a walk), Ashley Kropp (two hits, including a key triple), and Maddy Foy and Alexis McCraw (one hit each) keeping East Rutherford on the defensive.


Polk took a 1-0 lead in the third and made it 4-0 after the top of the fourth, with the Cavaliers coming back with three runs of their own in the home fourth. However, in the sixth, Polk put the game away with four more runs. East Rutherford’s lone score in the seventh was too little too late for the Cavaliers.


Polk’s Thursday, April 2 game against Hendersonville was played after press time. Results will be available in another edition.


With spring break next week, the Wolverines next visit the Asheville Trailblazers on April 13, and then host Mitchell on April 14. They face Madison in a re-match at Marshall on April 17.