On another cold evening, Columbus East was led by a strong pitching performance and solid defense to hold off Franklin 5-3 to earn back-to-back victories.
The Olympians got on the board in the bottom of the first, when leadoff hitter Madyson Foster got on base with a single. After stealing second, Foster was singled in by Brooke Valles.
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With one out in the top of the second, the Grizzly Cubs’ Kayle Murphy got on base with a double. Bostyn Parkhurst hit a sacrifice fly to move Murphy to third, and a wild throw allowed Murphy to walk in for Franklin’s first score.
After the Grizzly Cubs’ Rilee King struck out East’s leadoff hitter in the bottom of the second, Claudia Sims and Kaitlin Brummett got on base with consecutive singles. Foster stepped up to the plate next and sent a rocket into the outfield, bringing in both runners. With two on following a walk, Valles brought in a pair with a double of her own, extending the Olympians’ lead to 5-1.
Valles, who pitched a complete game with eight strikeouts while giving up only six hits, finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs.
“Brooke is two-dimensional,” East coach Rusty Brummett said. “She does a great job for us. Her hitting has come around. I know sometimes she is pretty hard on herself. She thinks she should get a hit every time.”
In the top of the sixth, the Cubs (1-5) showed signs of life when Emma Rutan led off the inning with a walk and advanced on a base hit by King. With two on, Izzy Harrison dinged a single into center bringing in Rutan, but King was met at the plate by a rocket throw from center field for the first out. Murphy stepped up to the plate next for Franklin, driving in Harrison to close out the scoring for the Cubs in the inning.
Murphy finished 2 for 3 with an RBI, and King went 2 for 3 for Franklin. King pitched a complete game for the Cubs, striking out six while giving up 10 hits.
After the Olympians (2-2) were retired in the bottom of the sixth, Valles was able to retire three batters in a row to seal the victory for East.
“They came out sluggish,” Franklin coach Lisa Whitlow-Hill said of her team’s first two innings. “We did play a lot better tonight than we did (Monday) night. We got more bats on the ball, and we only struck out eight times, which is lower than what it has been for us. We have been inside a lot, so we need to get more live hitting.”