DANVILLE — After a week of rain-soaked starts and stops, the Milton and Warrior Run Major Division softball teams finally got to play their District 13 first round tournament games Friday night at Echo Field.
The Milton all-star squad took on Berwick while the Warrior Run girls battled Danville in a pair of games which were ultimately decided by a pair of big innings.
Berwick used an eight-run second inning to capture an 11-1 victory over Milton in four innings while Warrior Run exploded for 11 runs in the pivotal third inning of their 15-5, four-inning win over Danville.
The week full of rainouts affected Milton’s ability to re-fire the emotional furnace on Friday according to head coach Amanda Friend.
“I think it was very nerve-racking because we were ready to play on Tuesday, we were ready to play on Wednesday and we were ready to play yesterday and their nerves got the best of them, but it’s ok, though,” Friend said. “It’s over with, it’s done now and we’re ready for tomorrow because we know the past is behind us.”
Conversely, Warrior Run was able to overcome its own slow start to right the ship and power past Danville thanks to the aforementioned offensive outburst in the third.
Sixteen Warrior Run hitters came to the plate in that 11-run frame and the team’s patient approach paid off as they were able to work nine walks and a hit batsman off of a couple of different Danville pitchers.
“We got some hits in that inning, got some base runners on and we were able to score some runs,” Warrior Run head coach Lance Gelnett said. “That’s kind of what I expect out of our team, to hit the ball, run the bases well and manufacture runs for our pitching because we have some good pitching, too.”
Bella Shupp, the Warrior Run starter, was better than good against Danville and the hard-throwing righty had several opposing batters guessing at location because of her velocity.
Shupp went the distance for Warrior Run and racked up six strikeouts in her four innings of work.
It was a victory that Shupp and her teammates began on Wednesday afternoon, just before the heavens opened and postponed the game once again.
Shupp came out firing against Danville on Wednesday and continued to throw well on Friday.
After Warrior Run had opened up a 15-2 lead by the bottom of the third, Danville began to claw back in the top of the fourth inning.
Danville scored three runs with nobody out before Shupp settled down and got out of a jam.