BMU Softball Defeats Danville in Close Contest

BMU 6 ~ Danville 5


(BNN Photo/ K. Murray)

The Bucks’ Maggie Emerson delivers a pitch in a Saturday game versus the Danville Bears. BMU defeated Danville 6-5.

BNN Staff

WELLS RIVER- Blue Mountain Softball found its way into the win column with a dramatic 6-5 victory over the Danville Bears.  The first three games for BMU this season couldn’t have been any more challenging.  The Bucks started their season with a home opener loss to the defending New Hampshire D4 Champion, Woodsville Engineers.  For their second contest, they traveled down I-91 to take on the defending Division 3 State Champs, Oxbow Olympians.  Today’s contest saw the Bucks face yet another State Championship team as the Danville Bears are the reigning D4 Champs.  In fact, it was the Bears who eliminated Blue Mountain from last year’s tournament in a semi-final contest. With the long and competitive history between these two schools, the stage was set for a great day of softball.

The Bears struck first on a first-inning drive to right field by Zoe Crocker.  That hit plated Liza Morse, and Danville had a one-run advantage.  The Bucks would come right back in the second on a no-doubt double by senior captain Maggie Emerson which pushed Felicity Sulham across the plate.  Two batters later, it would be Gabby Houghton with a double of her own which allowed Emerson to score, and gave BMU a 2-1 lead.  In the third inning, it was Zoe Crocker once again with the big bat for the Danville Bears.  She launched an 0-1 offering to deep center which gave Danville the 3-2 lead.  The score would remain 3-2 until the 5th inning when BMU was able to parlay a Karli Blood single, an error, and sacrifice fly into two runs making it 4-3 Blue Mountain.  As expected, Danville came right back in the top of the 6th with a bloop single to tie the game at four apiece.  It was in the bottom of the 6th when confusion on the part of the Bears cost them a run.  When the Bucks’ Emma Gray ground out to third base, the Danville defense incorrectly thought it was the third out and started to leave the field.  It was in fact only the second out of the inning and BMU coach KJ Beck quietly instructed Jade Lamarre to round third and scurry home before the Bears realized the inning wasn’t over.  This made it 5-4 BMU going into the final frame.  In the top of the 7th, BMU pitcher Maggie Emerson had to face the heart of the Danville batting order.  Zoe Crocker (3 for 3 for the game) singled to start the inning.  After advancing on a wild pitch, Crocker went to third base on a single from Ava Marshia.  A ground ball scored Crocker and once again the Bucks and Bears were tied.  Emerson got out of the inning with a pair of strikeouts and the Bucks had their final at-bat in the bottom of the 7th.  In that half-inning, the Bears didn’t record an out as Karli Blood led off with a four-pitch walk to first.  Next up was Jordan Alley who stroked a single to left field.  Freshman Kyra Nelson was the third batter and she hit a ground ball to short.  The Bears’ Crocker fields the ball cleanly and tried to get the lead runner (Blood) at 3rd base.  Karli Blood may be the fastest runner in the Bucks lineup and she got a great jump off the pitch.  She slid safely into third and the bases were juiced with no outs.  That brought Felicity Sulham to the plate and she drove the second pitch she saw high in the air to left field.  As the ball was dropped, it is scored as an error, but Karli Blood was tagging up anyway, and a catch would likely have garnered the same result, a walk-off win for Blue Mountain.

Colleen Flinn took the loss for the Bears allowing six runs on six hits and striking out three.

Maggie Emerson earned the win for Blue Mountain as she threw a complete game, allowing five runs on seven hits, while striking out ten.  According to Emerson, “We took what we learned in the first two games of the season, and put a complete game together. We tried to limit the number of errors and mental mistakes, and while we weren’t perfect, we were good enough to come away with the win. Danville is the defending division four state champs and they eliminated us from the playoffs last year in the semi-final, so this win feels really good. I’m always proud of my teammates, but today they went above and beyond.”  With the win, the Bucks improve to 1-2 on the young season.  They next face Northfield on Tuesday the 26th.