Denise Young leads Waterford past Fort Frye, 12-2
BEVERLY — Denise Young enjoyed a career day on the softball diamond.
The Waterford High senior catcher was 5 for 5 with a double and three runs-batted-in as the Wildcats defeated the host Fort Frye Cadets, 12-2, Tuesday evening in a rivalry softball game.
“I’ve had four hits before in a game but never five,” said Young, smiling.
Marissa Neader, Sydney Huffman, Mackenzie Suprano, and Adah Smitley each added two hits for the Cats, who improved their record to 13-3. They also swept the season series from the Cadets (4-15).
“For some reason, our bats had been a little silent, but they came alive today,” said WHS skipper Doug Baldwin. “They were silent the first couple of innings there. We got some runners on base but couldn’t get that key hit.”
Senior righty Emma Baldwin pitched a 7-inning complete game win, striking out three and allowing just four hits. The Wildcat hurler was backed up by a pretty solid defense.
“Defensively, we played pretty well,” Doug Baldwin said. “Mackenzie (Suprano) had a couple of nice plays that she had to chase down in right field. Ciara Hilverding had a nice double play (in the seventh inning). Just a lot of good defense back there.”
Fort Frye sophomore Mady Harper suffered the setback in the circle. Freshman Hannah Offenberger also pitched to one batter.
Offensively, Cadet senior Divinity Neihart had two of her team’s four hits. Caeley Mincks also had a single and an RBI, while Maria Fisher drove in Gilly Baker, who had singled to lead off the sixth.
“We’ll get better and we’ll improve,” said FFHS boss Barb Sleek. “We have a lot of young ones, who want to learn the game.”
Capitalizing on some two-out lightning, Waterford staked itself to a 1-0 advantage in the opening inning on consecutive singles by Neader, Young, and Jones.
With two outs in the third, Young singled, Jones was hit by a Harper pitch, and Suprano made it 2-0 Cats with an RBI hit to right.
In the top of the fifth, WHS stretched its lead to 3-0 when Jones legged it home on a wild pitch.
Fort cut it to 3-1 in the bottom half of the frame. Leading off, Neihart doubled to left, and one out later, courtesy runner Carly Grosklos scored on Mincks’ single to left.
“This was a ballgame,” Sleek said. “I know people are going to look at that lopsided score and say that it was a runaway. But it really wasn’t.”
At least, it wasn’t until the last two innings when the Wildcats scored a combined nine runs to win going away.
During the sixth inning, Huffman and Taylor each had a triple, while Brier Offenberger and Young drove in one run apiece.
Waterford put the game pretty much out of reach in the top of the seventh with a 6-run bat-around. During the surge, Smitley had two singles and two RBIs, while Taylor, Neader, Young, and Jones each plated a run.
“The kids played hard,” Doug Baldwin said.