St. Marys takes advantage of ’Jacket errors

WILLIAMSTOWN – Mariah Martin likes her new digs as a member of the St. Marys softball team.

In return, the Blue Devils have to be liking the fact that Martin decided to join their program.

In Monday’s 9-2 win at Williamstown, the transfer from Ritchie County retired 11 of the final 12 batters she faced and helped her own cause by going 2-for-4 from the plate with a double and two runs batted in.

“We already played Williamstown this year, so I knew what I was up against and I was confident on the mound,” Martin said. “At the plate, I had been in a hitting slump but in our last game against Tyler Consolidated I had two triples and a double. So tonight, I was feeling really confident at the plate.”

In the first meeting between Williamstown and St. Marys, an error in extra innings proved to be the downfall for the Yellowjackets in a 7-6 defeat. Fielding mistakes again played a major role last night as Williamtown committed a total of nine errors. On the plus side, the Yellowjackets turned three double plays.

“We are young – we have five sophomores starting along with a freshman, so hopefully this is just jitters they go through,” Williamstown coach Ron Stanley said. “This is a big game for us. St. Marys is a rival and they were nervous starting out.

“We will have a very serious practice (on Tuesday) and see what we can fix.”

Four of those miscues occurred in a four-run first-inning for St. Marys. All the damage came after two were out and only one runner on base. Mixed in with two run-scoring errors were RBI singles from Mikaela Britton and Martin.

Williamstown, which fell below the .500 mark at 6-7, answered with a run in the bottom half of the first inning. After Martin retired the first two batters, Chelsie Butler doubled. On the second pitch she faced from Martin, clean-up hitter Emrie Gray singled into center field and Butler crossed the plate to cut the deficit to 4-1.

The Yellowjackets never pulled any closer as St. Marys scored twice off Williamstown starter Cierra King in its half of the third. Martin delivered the hardest hit ball when her ground-rule double brought home one of the two runs scored in the frame.

The Blue Devils tacked on another run in the fourth without the benefit of a hit when Kendra Becker’s ground out to the shortstop allowed Alyssa Fetty to score from third base.

Gray contributed to both Williamstown runs. In the home half of the fourth, she led off with a double and later scored on Emily Dunn’s one-out single. From that point on, Martin was nearly unhittable as the St. Marys left-hander set down 11 of the next 12 batters she faaced. Only one ball left the infield during that span.

St. Marys, meanwhile, tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the seventh inning with Sami Crowe and Mikayla Hearn both producing run-scoring singles.

“For the last few games, I thought our bats were stuck on the bus – but tonight I guess the bats got off the bus with us,” St. Marys coach John Mike Nichols said after his ballclub improved to 7-3. “I knew the hits would come in time. With the last couple of games with Tyler Consolidated and Williamstown, I think our bats are finally going.”