PITSBURG – The Bradford Lady Railroaders served notice they are contenders in the Cross County Conference softball race with an 8-4 win over Franklin Monroe on Thursday, remaining undefeated at 6-0 on the year and 4-0 in the conference.
The Lady Jets advanced to the elite eight of the Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament last year and have a majority of the girls returning this year, a fact that Bradford softball coach Shon Shaffer was well aware.
“This was a huge win for us,” Shaffer said. “I told the girls this was going to be a really good team and stay positive throughout the game because it was going to go up and down, and we did a really nice job of battling all game long.”
The Roaders went up 2-0 in the top of the first inning to start the game to put the Jets on the defensive.
Bradford freshman pitcher Skipp Miller struck out the first two batters she faced in the bottom of the first before Belle Cable coaxed a walk. She stole two bases and then scored on a passed ball on a third strike to make the score 2-1.
Allie Armstrong got a hit in the second inning and once again with a little help from the Roaders scored to tie the game.
Bradford’s bats came alive in fifth inning, scoring three runs to go up 5-2, and added two more in the sixth inning to go up 7-2.
The Jets plated two runs in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 7-4. Bradford added an insurance run in the seventh inning and then Miller closed the door, retiring the side in the seventh inning for the 8-4 league win.
Miller pitched a complete game with 13 strikeouts and gave up six hits and allowed four runs in the win.
“She’s our horse and is pitching really well this young season, and I can only hope that she will continue to get better as the season goes along,” Shaffer said.
“We hit the ball well today (14 hits), and even though it may not look like it from the scorebook, we hit the ball really hard and at them a lot today.”
Chelsea Gill, Emma Canan, Skipp Miller, Bailey Wysong and Maggie Manuel all went 2-for-4 for the day.
“Senior Bailey Wysong is the anchor on this team, and we usually go where she goes,” Shaffer said. “And we feed off her emotion, and she had us going today.”
“We made some errors, booted it around some … but we stayed positive and finished it out,” Shaffer said. “I’m really proud of the girls maintaining their composure and finishing out the game strong.”
Bradford improved to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the conference and will take on Versailles Friday night.