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The Westminster Bi-Line

Softball defeats Lovett for the first time in four years, twice

Led by coaches Pete Welborn, Kasey Clonts, and Brent McGuire, the Wildcats softball team defeated the Lovett Lions for the first time in four years. It went on to continue the trend by defeating their rivals once again only eight days later.

On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Cats won 3-2 at Lovett.  Junior Maggie Welborn had two hits. Seniors Michelle Bonnot, Alex Ansley, Kylar Dietrich, juniors Meryl McCurry and Haley Watson, and freshman Emily Bassett all had one hit each.

Ansley scored the first run on a line drive single hit by Bassett. Watson drove home junior Elyse Ensor, and Welborn also scored.

McCurry commented, “I’m really proud of how we played. We hadn’t beaten Lovett in a really long time, and [Bonnot] pitched really well against them.”

The team had three double plays this game. Two came from line drives caught by Bonnot and McCurry, who then threw to first.

Lovett’s first defeat came on its Spirit Night. “It was great,” said Dietrich. “Also slightly awkward, because they were really disappointed.”

On Sept. 20, the Wildcats defeated Lovett 3-1 at home. “It was a better game from both teams, and it was very close,” said Bonnot.

In the first inning, Bonnot hit an RBI (run batted in) double that brought McCurry home, who had walked.

In the fifth inning, Ensor had walked before an RBI double hit by Welborn that brought her home. Ensor had advanced to second from a sacrifice bunt by senior Alex Ansley, before advancing to third from senior Kylar Dietrich’s ground-out.

In the sixth inning, the Cats were up 2-1. Lovett had the bases loaded with two outs before pitcher Bonnot struck out the batter for the third out. “It was a very stressful inning,” commented Bonnot. “It could’ve gone very badly, but we held it together.”

When the Cats were up, Bonnot got a single that drove sophomore Andi Carrandi home for an insurance run to make the score 3-1.

In the final inning, Lovett bunted, and the batter was safe. Another bunt directly followed, before Bonnot struck out the next two batters. To end the game, first baseman McCurry fielded a ground ball to get the out at first.

“I would say Lovett didn’t play as well last week as they did this week, but then again, neither did we. This game was a better game from both teams,” said Bonnot.

Bonnot pitched two of the best games of her pitching career. Between the two games, she had 18 strikeouts over the course of 14 innings.

“She shut down one of the best-hitting and most athletic teams we’ll see all season,” said Coach Welborn. “I have never coached a better pitcher. There is no one in the state that I would rather have in the pitching circle in a crucial game more than Michelle Bonnot.”

Clonts, the pitching coach, has done a masterful job working with Bonnot and calling pitches in every game. “Clonts deserves a huge portion of the credit for our defensive successes this year,” said Coach Welborn.

“I’m proud to be a part of this team,” commented senior Piper Ruhmkorff. “There’s a true sense of community within the softball team, and they’re a talented group of girls.”

“The coaches and players on the 2012 Wildcats are the greatest bunch of people with whom I have ever been associated.  Our girls have persevered through injuries and adversity,” said Coach Welborn. “The effort is always there, and you could not ask for better teammates.  I could not possibly be any prouder of them.”

Watch one of the thrilling Lovett showdowns.

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