By: Nate Calvin
MONTPELIER (APRIL 18, 2023)– The Locos took a big step toward ending the run of BBC titles for the Hilltop Cadets with a combination of home runs and the pitching of Madelyn Hopper to get an 8-6 win.
Montpelier is now the lone remaining undefeated team in the BBC at 3-0, ahead of Hilltop and Pettisville with one loss.
The Cadets were able to get on the board in their first at-bat as Brooklyn Kuszmaul led off the game with a single to center and later scored on a groundout by Joscelyn Layman to give Hilltop a 1-0 lead.
Jada Uribes evened the score at 1-1 as she opened the bottom of the second with a solo shot to center before Montpelier would take the lead in the third inning with a two out rally.
After the first two hitters were retired by Hilltop starter Giada Rising, Kelsie Bumb lined a double to center and Hopper singled to right to bring her home and give Montpelier a 2-1 lead.
Montpelier would increase their lead in the fifth as Lyla Mahan drew a walk with one out, Kaycee Humbarger hit an RBI double to center, and Bumb cleared the fence in left for a two-run homer to make it 5-1.
A Hopper single to right followed Bumb’s homer and Hopper would move to third on an error by the right fielder and that spelled the end of the night for Rising as Layman took over in the circle.
Layman would strike out Jada Uribes for the second out of the inning before Bianca Phongphiou singled to score Hopper to push the lead to 6-1.
The next three Montpelier batters would walk forcing in another run before Layman got Mahan to hit into a fielder’s choice to end the frame.
Each team added a run in the sixth to make it an 8-2 ball game heading to Hilltop’s final at bat in the seventh.
Isabella Ackley started things with a double to right field and Kenley Routt would single to left and reach second base on an error after Hopper struck out Eleana VanArsdalen to give the Cadets runners at second and third with one out.
Kuszmaul popped out to third base for the second out of the inning before Ackley scored on a wild pitch and Sophie Graham drew a walk to keep the inning going for the Cadets.
Layman then made things very interesting as she drove a 1-0 pitch over the fence in right for a three-run home run to trim the Locos lead to 8-6.
Hopper would then buckle down and induce a groundout to shortstop by Shealyn Brown to end the game.
Bumb and Hopper each had a three-hit night for Montpelier and drove in two runs apiece.
Layman finished the game with four RBIs for Hilltop.
Hopper with her eight strikeouts on the night gives her 111 on the season, a new Montpelier single record, beating the old mark of 107.
HILLTOP 100 001 4 – 6 5 2
MONTPELIER 011 051 x – 8 10 2
Records: Hilltop 9-6 (3-1 BBC), Montpelier 8-4 (3-0 BBC)
WINNING PITCHER: Hopper (7 innings, 5 hits, 6 runs, 5 earned, 8 strikeouts, 3 runs)
LOSING PITCHER: Rising (4.1 innings, 8 hits, 6 runs, 6 earned, 4 strikeouts, 2 walks) Other: Layman
LEADING HITTERS: (Hilltop) Layman – home run, 4 RBIs; Ackley – double; Brown – double; (Montpelier) Humbarger – double, single; Bumb – home run, double, 2 RBIs, 2 runs; Hopper – home run, 2 singles, 2 RBIs, 2 runs; J. Uribes – home run; Phongphiou – 2 singles, RBI
Nate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org