Wildcat softball team off to slow start
MANCHESTER- The Twin Valley softball team looks much improved from a year ago. Unfortunately, that improvement hasn’t translated to wins during the early part of the season. The Wildcats dropped three games during the past week to fall to 0-4. Despite that, the team has been competitive and working toward that elusive first win of the spring.
On Thursday, April 26, a shorthanded Twin Valley team hit the road to take on Burr & Burton Academy. Coach Jeff Putnam said his entire starting infield was missing due to illness and other commitments. That forced him to put some players in positions they weren’t familiar with.
The Wildcats had some moments at the plate, but couldn’t push across any runs and dropped a 10-0 decision to BBA.
Leah Putnam garnered two hits for the Wildcats, but that wasn’t enough as BBA was stellar in the field and had a strong performance from Shaye Squillante on the mound. She kept Twin Valley in check with six strikeouts.
“We didn’t have a lot of runners,” said Putnam. “We only had five on base.”
Callie Dix started for Twin Valley and pitched well in the loss. She was hurt by the long ball, however, as Finley Forester, Brianna Mayne, and Amber Morris all rang up dingers. Abby Wimer, of Dover, added three hits for the home team.
Proctor 20, TV 6
PROCTOR- Twin Valley traveled up Route 7 again on Saturday, and came home on the short end of a 20-6 loss to the Proctor Phantoms.
The Wildcats kept the game close, trailing 11-6 after the fifth inning. But Proctor rallied in the bottom of the sixth that included a three-run homer to salt the game away.
Sadie Boyd led the Wildcats offense with three hits and two steals. She also scored two times. Celia Betit and Hannah Sullivan each had two hits, and Kara Bird, Jayden Crawford, and Leah Putnam each chipped in with a hit.
Jarrett Niles was on the mound for Twin Valley. She also walked and scored twice.
LG 18, TV 3
TOWNSHEND- Leland & Gray has a softball team led by veteran upperclassmen, and that experience showed Tuesday afternoon as the Rebels took an 18-3 victory over visiting Twin Valley.
The Rebels struck early, pouncing on Twin Valley starter Jarrett Niles for four runs in the first inning. After striking out lead-off batter Sarah Anderson, Niles issued four straight walks. Sydney Hescock and Alison Stockwell followed up with back-to-back singles, giving the Rebels the early lead.
Niles settled down in the second, only allowing a single to Erin Cutts but working around that with the help of some solid fielding by the Wildcats.
Niles helped her cause in the top of the third inning. She doubled and came around to score on a steal and a wild pitch, drawing the Wildcats closer at 4-1.
But the Rebels blew the game open in the bottom of the third. Alison Stockwell led off with a double, which woke up the Leland & Gray bats. Jayden Pronovost and Olivia Brown also doubled, but the big hit was a bases-clearing triple by Hescock to put the Rebels up 11-1.
Twin Valley added a run in the top of the fourth when Kylie Reed walked and came around to score.
Callie Dix had two walks and three steals. Niles, Sadie Boyd, and Hannah Sullivan each had a hit for the Wildcats.
Despite the winless record, coach Jeff Putnam is seeing growth in the young Twin Valley team, which consists of mostly sophomore and freshman players.
“Experience is the biggest thing,” he said. “Physically, they can play. It’s the mental stuff. Not paying attention, making a play but forgetting there are baserunners, things like that. They’re getting there, they’ve come a long way from the first couple of games.”
Twin Valley is back in action Friday when they host Green Mountain and again on Monday when they host West Rutland. Game times are 4:30 pm.