By Drew Terhall
NEW MADISON — The Bradford softball team picked up a 10-2 win at Tri-Village. The Lady Railroaders scored two runs in the first inning to grab an early lead and didn’t let go of it.
Bradford head coach Shon Schaffer said he has heard about how well the Lady Patriots have been playing of late and how good of a season freshman Elizabeth Poling has been having so far.
Knowing Poling has beaten some good, quality teams this season, Schaffer had his team ready for this game but trying to get more games in and not just have practice.
“We had them all geared up for this week. I tried to get as many games in before we played them and rescheduled some stuff. We played a game yesterday to not have practice to get into the game speed. I think it paid off, we had 19 hits today,” Schaffer said.
Tri-Village head coach Emily Osborne said the team couldn’t get the hits they needed to stay in this game. They had the bats going during their seven-game win streak a week ago, but have started to go back to their early season struggles at the plate.
“When you put together hits like that, you’re going to have runs on the board. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do that. It was one of the things we struggled with at the beginning of the season. I thought we had that kind of worked out, even switched up the lineup a little bit,” Osborne said.
The Lady Railroaders scored in five of the game’s seven innings. They were making solid contact throughout the game. The big inning was the top of the fifth inning. Up 4-2, the Lady Railroaders extended their lead with four runs in the fifth. They followed up the inning with a two-run sixth.
The Lady Patriots scored a run in the first and a run in the fourth. The team couldn’t get the bats going in this one.
For Bradford, sophomore Lexi Clark had three RBI in the game. Junior Alani Canan had two RBI on four hits. Senior Izzy Hamilton had four hits. Senior Shay Swick had three hits and a RBI. Hamilton went all seven innings on the mound and struck out four batters.
For Tri-Village, freshman Hailey Burk had a RBI with a home run. Poling pitched all seven innings and got a strikeout.
The Lady Patriots are 10-8 with a 5-3 conference record. Tournament draw is upcoming on April 30 as postseason play is around the corner.
When asked about what improvements she wants to see from the team before the playoffs, Osborne said she wants to see the team improve on playing together and clean up some of the errors. She also wants to see the team continue to improve their approach at the plate.
“(And) continue to work hard at the plate. Attack instead of just protect I think is the one thing that we need to start working on. Hitting line drives instead of bloopers,” Osborne said.
The Lady Railroaders are 6-9 with a 6-2 conference record. When asked about the improvements he wants to see from his team prior to the tournament, Schaffer said his team needs to play more regular season games to get used to the game speed.
Bradford had 23 games schedule at the start of the season. Schaffer said this team needed 27 games to help the new starters get used to the game speed and play faster.
Schaffer is still coaching this team no matter what happens during a game. Even in this game, Schaffer said the team played well and was happy about their performance. But, there are still some things the team could improve on.
“Even on a game like this, you hate to be the negative coach. But I told the girls we left a lot of stuff out there. I guess I’m still coaching them, even though I feel good about this win,” Schaffer said.
Bradford will play a non-league game at Arcanum on April 26 at 5 p.m. Tri-Village will play a double header at the Dylan Williams Invite in Union City on April 29.
Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]