MARATHON — The Marathon softball team found itself in a tough battle Wednesday.
After a one-day delay because of rain and some light showers Tuesday, the second-seeded Olympians posted a 9-4 victory over seventh seed Richfield Springs/Owen D. Young in the Section 4 Class D Tournament quarterfinals. Marathon improves to 16-4 on the season and moves into the semifinals. RS/ODY wrapped up its season at 11-4.
“We survived this game and did what we needed when it mattered most,” Marathon coach Jamie Bush said. “We were off during warm-ups and off most of the night, but the bottom of our lineup provided us with six of our nine runs. The strike zone got much smaller tonight and both teams hit the ball well; we just made big outs when needed and they did not.”
Marathon broke a 2-2 tie with a run in the bottom of the third inning. Pitcher Breanna Mitchell would settle down and throw three scoreless inning as the Olympian offense put some additional runs on the scoreboard. Three runs in the bottom of the fourth gave Marathon a 6-2 advantage and the Olympians added three more runs over the next two innings for a 9-2 cushion entering the seventh.
Mitchell pitched six innings and allowed two runs, nine hits, three walks and recorded eight strikeouts. She got additional help from her fielders, including freshman Brie Carter chasing down a hard-hit fly ball in the right-center field gap. Carter made the catch and doubled the runner off trying to get back to first base. “Brie has a very strong arm and has great speed playing center field,” Bush said. “That play kept them off the scoreboard in the first inning and gave us a little momentum after looking out of it during warm-ups. Breanna had her hands full on the mound, as Richfield came to play and hit the ball hard. We made the big plays when needed to get off the field and back on offense. She pitched out of trouble in the second and third innings by striking out the final batter in each inning. That was big because we only gave up one run in each of those innings and kept Richfield from breaking open the game. She would put up zeros the next three innings as she settled into the game.”
Mitchell’s sister Kaitlyn would finish the seventh and after facing a few batters ended the game with a pair of strikeouts.
Offensively, Kaitlyn Mitchell was 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Breanna Mitchell was 1-for-4 with an RBI triple in the third inning to put Marathon ahead 3-2 and the bottom of the order did the rest. Brooke Tillotson was 2-for-3 and scored two runs and Kristi Walley was 2-for-3 with one run scored. Carter, Sam Pendell and Molly Merihew were each 1-for-3, but each scored and had an RBI.
Marathon will be back in action this afternoon, hosting Schenevus (16-2) in the Class D semifinals at 4:30 p.m. Schenevus was a 12-3 winner over sixth seed Roxbury Wednesday.