BOLIVAR — It was how you might expect a game between two of the county’s heavyweights to go.
The Wellsville and Bolivar-Richburg softball teams needed not just one, but two extra innings to decide a winner. And when they finally reached that point, it was Wellsville that was left standing.
Mackenzie Cowburn came up big in both the circle and at the plate and Wellsville broke a scoreless tie with a two-run ninth before hanging on for a 2-1 triumph in a non-league showdown Thursday night.
It was an “unreal” game, coach Matt Burke maintained, who also described it as a “classic pitchers duel.”
Cowburn struck out 14 while scattering five hits and allowing only one late run in a complete-game effort. Her counterpart, Jessica Majot, fanned five and surrendered just two runs in a five-hitter. In the ninth, the Lions took the lead on a ground ball out before Cowburn, who finished with two hits, added an insurance run on an RBI single.
“Mackenzie was electrice tonight,” Burke said. “She showed great composure, she battled all night.”
Both teams had opportunities to take the lead earlier in the game. In the sixth inning, B-R had the bases loaded with one out, but Wellsville made two plays to get out of it, including a Marley Adams diving catch on a blooped ball to the outfield. In the seventh, Wellsville had a runner at third following a leadoff double and sac bunt, but got caught in a run down after trying to bunt the runner home.
B-R tallied a run on a sacrifice in the bottom of the ninth, but Wellsville hung on.
“Both teams had chances to score and both pitchers bore down,” Burke said. “B-R is well-coached and they have really good players. This one could have gone either way.”
ALLEGANY CO. DIV. I
Fillmore 12, Cuba-Rushford 3FILLMORE — Kirstin Frazier struck out nine (with five walks) and allowed just one hit to key Fillmore to its first win.
Torann Wolfer (3 stolen bases) had two hits and four runs scored for the Eagles (1-1), who took control early with five runs in both the first and second innings. Lillian Forward posted the lone hit while Sydney Howard struck out five in three innings of relief for Cuba-Rushford (0-3).
ALLEGANY CO. DIV. II
Friendship 6, Belfast 4BELFAST — Neveah Ross was dazzling in her season debut, striking out 18 (of 21 outs) and walking six in a no-hitter for Friendship.
Up 5-4 in the seventh, Ross added a big insurance run on a solo home run. Caitlin Stewart went 2-for-4 for the Eagles (1-0). Emma Sullivan fanned nine and walked four while surrendering just one earned run, on the home run, for Belfast (1-1).
“She was by far the best pitcher we’ll see all year long,” Belfast coach Mark Sullivan said of Ross. “It should have been a 1-0 game (going into the bottom of the seventh, after allowing just one earned run).
“We scored all of our runs on walks and stolen bases. We made mistakes at crucial times (that led to Friendship’s runs); a run here, a run there. But that girl’s a good pitcher; she’s lights out.”