Tuesday, her wait ended when the Wolverines won their Bay Valley Athletic League opener 5-2 over Liberty to extend their winning streak to four games.
“It’s a really young team that’s coming around at the right time,” Tillson said. “We’re getting better every day. We’re a very young team and our veterans are providing great leadership.”
Freshman first baseman Brandi Williams rapped out two hits, a run and an RBI for the Wolverines, (6-6-1, 1-0 BVAL) and senior Dolce Galaviz gave up one hit in three innings of relief to secure the victory.
Williams broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI double that scored sophomore outfielder Halle McIlvenna to give Deer Valley a 3-2 lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Deer Valley jumped on Liberty (1-5, 0-1 BVAL) freshman pitcher Ashlyn Frits, who entered in the sixth with the game tied 2-2. In addition to the double by Williams, freshman outfielder Amanda Coley scored on a groundout by senior outfielder Davianna Burney, and Williams scored on a wild pitch with Galaviz in the box to make it 5-2 Deer Valley during a three-run sixth inning.
“I think we did really good,” said Wolverines freshman outfielder Renee Smith. “Our defense was good and so were our bats.”
Early on, the Lions looked like they would pick up their first league victory – equaling their entire BVAL win total from last season.
After Liberty pitcher Victoria Bratsher led off the third with a triple, she scored one batter later on a single by Frits to make it 1-0 Lions. Junior utility player Olive Paredes singled home senior third baseman Alex Elder in the fourth to make it 2-0 Liberty, but that was all the Lions offense could muster off Deer Valley freshman starter Rachel Jones.
“We got a little too comfortable when we got up the two runs,” Liberty head coach Stacie Del Chairo said. “We needed to explode from there and continue putting the ball in play, continue running the bases and continue scoring.”
Bratsher was in command for the Lions during the first four innings, giving up only a single and a walk, before she lost control in the fifth with the Lions up 2-0. A leadoff walk to Williams in the bottom of the inning spelled doom for Bratsher. Junior second baseman Alyssa Slate and junior third baseman Maleia Namauleg drilled back-to-back doubles, which allowed Slate and Williams to score, erasing the two-run deficit for the Wolverines.
Galaviz picked up the win for Deer Valley while Bratsher suffered the loss for the Lions.
Antioch 2, Freedom 1
It took 11 innings, but Antioch scored an upset 2-1 victory over longtime league champion Freedom on Tuesday to open BVAL play. Shelbi Graifman earned the win, defeating Madison Williams. Senior right fielder Morgan Perry drove in Chelsey Ferguson for the game-winning run in the final frame.
“It was actually a surprise,” Panthers head coach John Rebstock said. “We hadn’t been playing very well, but we picked it up to start league.”
Heritage 11, Pittsburg 0
Heritage opened BVAL play with a burst of offensive firepower in an 11-0 win over Pittsburg. Kayla Barber and Lisa Rodrigues notched triples and four Patriots tacked on two hits. Rodrigues also fanned 11 Pirates in a game shortened by the mercy rule.