Wildcats shutout Altoona, 10-0
MILL HALL — Central Mountain’s mercy-rule win against Altoona was indicative of its roster’s deepness, rather than the talent of a few select athletes.
Up 8-0 entering the bottom of the fifth, Central Mountain reached into its bench and inserted four pinch hitters into the lineup. Madalyn Bechdel, Autumn Dershem, and Cassidy Brush each recorded hits before Linzy Carson’s RBI-single sealed the game for CM in five innings, 10-0.
“I think the most enjoyable part about [the win] was we ended up being able to get some subs in there, and they ended up getting some hits,” Central Mountain coach Benjamin Trew said. “They did a great job. They got an opportunity and went up and had some fun.”
Central Mountain out-hit Altoona, 13-1. Skylar Smith went 3-3 with 3 RBIs, and Morgan Wetzel matched her with another 3 hits and 2 RBIs. The two hitters have been on a tear this season and are shining in the No. 3 and No. 4 spot of the lineup.
“Those two have just been crushing the ball all year,” Trew said of Smith and Wetzel. “It’s almost come to be expected of them every time they’re up because they’ve been doing it so often. “
“They’ve been doing such a great job this year, and it’s not like they’ve been getting little bloop hits here and there,” Trew added. “They’re really stroking it pretty well right now, and getting a lot of line drives, and hard-hit ground balls to get on and move runners too.”
CM took an early 1-0 lead in the first after Skylar Smith’s RBI single.
The Wildcats exploded for five runs in the second inning. Riley Houser scored on a passed ball to extend CM’s lead, 2-0. Later in the inning, Morgan Wetzel cracked a two-out 2-run double to stretch CM’s lead, 4-0. Back-to-back RBI singles by Skylar Smith and Madison Knepp put CM ahead over Altoona, 6-0.
Altoona’s struggling offense is a recurring theme this year. CM pitcher Cait Brush stretched the Mountain Lions’ first at-bats across three innings.
The Mountain Lions got its first base runner in the fourth, and Erika Benson’s fourth-inning single was the team’s lone hit.
“I just think we faced a pretty good senior pitcher that threw pretty well,” Altoona coach John Benson said. “Our girls just couldn’t find the ball and get it into play. We hit the ball, but we just couldn’t find the holes that we needed to be able to get back into the ball game.”
Skylar Smith’s fourth inning RBI-double put CM ahead 7-0.
Autumn Dershem, Cassidy Brush and Linzy Carson’s RBI singles ended the evening early, 10-0.
“Linzy Carson put a great swing on it to close out the game for us and score that last run,” CM coach Benjamin Trew said.
Central Mountain returns today in an away rematch against Jersey Shore. The Bulldogs shutout CM, 4-0, on April 12.
“It’s going to be a big game,” Trew said of today’s matchup. “We need to win it to have a chance to win the conference. There’s a lot riding on it, but either way it should be a great game.”
Altoona looks for its first win of the season Friday against Punxsutawney.
“Again we’re going to face another senior pitcher that’s really good,” Benson said.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
AT 0 0 0 0 0 x x 0 1 2
CM 1 5 1 0 3 x x 10 13 0
WP: Cait Brush
LP: Alyson Adams
Central Mountain: Skylar Smith (3-3, 3 RBIs), Morgan Wetzel (3-3, 2 RBI’s), Autumn Dershem (1-1, 1 RBI), Linzy Carson (1-for-1, 1 RBI).
Altoona: Erika Benson (1-2).
Central Mountain: 10-4