Heartbreaker in the valley, Warriors fall to Chuckey-Doak

Published 3:50 pm Friday, March 31, 2023

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By Ron Marvel
Star Correspondent
In an old-fashioned defensive slugfest, the Lady Warriors dropped a tight game to the Golden Knights 2-0, in a game that featured one team taking advantage of their few opportunities and another team wishing they had theirs back.
Happy Valley hosted Chuckey-Doak in a contest that may determine seeding in their conference and the Lady Warriors in a game that features two pitchers at the top of their games. The Lady Knights started the game off with a grounder just beyond the outreached glove of Warrior shortstop Aleah Gridstaff, but that runner would be left stranded after a strikeout and two harmless infield pop-ups. The Lady Warriors then missed out on a golden opportunity in the bottom of the first as Julie Nieminski would hit a line drive into left and advance to third on a Knights error off the bat of Reagan Street, giving them runners at second and third. Unfortunately, Nieminski would be gunned down at the plate off a slow grounder at third and then Knights pitcher Makayla Ramsey would backhand a grounder to get out of the inning.
The Golden Knights would score their first run off a walk-stolen base and then a base hit to take a 1-0 lead, but Warriors pitcher Ella Marvel would get a looking strikeout to end the inning. The Lady Warriors would get something going again in the third; Trinity Bowers would start the inning with a base hit and with runners at first and second and one out Bowers would get caught stealing third and the Warriors would strand two more after a strikeout to end the threat.
The game would stay 1-0 for most of the contest but would feature both teams flashing the leather to keep their respective teams in it. Warriors Left-handed shortstop Grindstaff would make an eye-popping diving catch off a foul ball in the third, and Nieminski would make a running shoestring catch in the fifth.  Street would snatch a line drive shot out the air in the sixth to keep it a one run game. After a 14 pitch at bat the Lady Knights would turn a walk into and a steal and then into a run after a blooper that would find grass just out of reach of the glove of Nieminski, to make the score 2-0. Marvel would then get a strikeout and a grounder to end the inning. The Warriors would hit a couple of hard ground balls right at infielders to end the game.
 Both pitchers were strong off the mound as Ella Marvel would surrender two runs and six hits with eight strikeouts over seven innings, while her counterpart for the Golden Knights, Makayla Ramsey would give up five hits and no runs with one walk. On the night, the Warriors would strand seven runners; after the game, Lady Warriors Head Coach Hunter Buchanan would talk about the tough loss, “we put together our best defensive game and Ella brought her A game tonight in the circle; we missed a couple of opportunities..hats off to them their pitcher was on all night and they made the plays when they needed to. This stings because we feel we played well enough to win. Our schedule starts to pick up, so we can’t dwell on this.” The Lady Warriors will travel to play South Greene Tuesday night.

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