Edison rocks Barnesville, 10-0
Fluharty strikes out 15, Wildcats advance to sectional final
RICHMOND — Edison sophomore Katie Fluharty has been on a roll the past couple of weeks in the circle for her softball team.
During Monday’s Division III East sectional semifinal against 15th-seeded Barnesville, it was more of the same. Fluharty tossed a two-hit shutout, while striking out 15 Shamrocks to lift the second-seeded Wildcats to a 10-0, six-inning victory.
The Wildcats (16-8) advance to Thursday’s sectional final against the winner of No. 9 Garaway-No. 6 Ridgewood, who were postponed from Monday to today.
“I thought she got better as the game went on,” Edison head coach Spencer Bendle said regarding his ace. “I thought the first inning or so she struggled with location and was behind the count.
“She’s been pitching this great for about the last six games. She’s been really sharp hitting her locations and taking command of the circle. Hopefully that continues.”
Barnesville’s first base knock did not come until the fifth inning when catcher Shayla Hunter roped a leadoff single. By that time, the Wildcats were ahead, 8-0, thanks to a six-run fourth.
“That’s kind of been the story of our season. We start off real well defensively, then they start timing up our pitcher,” Barnesville coach Kelley Hanlon said.
Edison grabbed an early 2-0 advantage after three frames thanks to sophomore Audrey Scott. The left-handed hitter, who would finish a triple shy of the cycle, cranked a two-out solo home run to right in the first, then roped an RBI double in the third.
Shamrock starter Jasmine Caldwell was cruising along against batters not named Scott, but the floodgates opened in the fourth.
With one away, Edison recorded back-to-back-to-back RBI singles from Alayna Meadows, Becka Evans and Maddie Brenstuhl, respectively. After that, Savanna Ankrom pulled a two-run double to left-center for a 7-0 lead.
Jadyn Thornton relieved Caldwell, recorded an out but allowed an RBI base knock to Kiley Babel.
“It just took us a little while to adjust to the speed of their pitcher and maybe just finding a better pitch to hit later on. We weren’t patient enough early and had to make a couple of adjustments,” Bendle said.
The Wildcats ended the contest with a two-run sixth. Babel drew a bases-loaded walk, then Mychi Stewart delivered a run-scoring infield single.
Every Shamrock (2-21) struck out at least one time against Fluharty, who also allowed one free pass and hit a batter. Add to that an error on the infield, Barnesville had five baserunners throughout.
“We haven’t seen live batting for a whole week because three of our games were rained out. We’ve been inside with the batting cages, and it’s a lot different,” Hanlon said. “But, her speed threw us off a little bit. My girls were swinging at her high pitches. If we lay off of them, maybe we would have been fine.”
A LONG AFTERNOON
Bendle began preparations at 11 a.m. to get the field at Jefferson Lake State Park ready. It took him roughly a little more than three hours to get it dry.
“I was happy we were able to get the field ready and have a game. Right now is just win and advance,” he said. “I was told other games were postponed around 8:30 a.m.”
Edison 10, Barnesville 0
Barnesville 0-0-0 0-0-0 — 0 2 0
Edison 1-0-1 6-0-2 — 10 10 1
BARNESVILLE (2-21): Caldwell (LP, 3 1/3IP, 8R, 7H, 3BB, 0K), Thornton (1 2/3IP, 2R, 2H, 5BB, 0K), Johnston (1/3IP,) 0R, 1H, 0BB, 0K) and Hunter. Starr S; Hunter S.
EDISON (16-8): Fluharty (WP, CG, 0R, 2H, 1BB, 15K) and Evans. Brenstuhl S, RBI; Ankrom D, 2RBIs; Scott S, D, HR, 2RBIs; Babel S, RBI; Stewart S, RBI; P. Meadows S, RBI; A. Meadows S, RBI; Evans S, RBI.