Ira sparkles; Solon moves to 17-0
Softball: No. 2 Spartans have blanked 5 straight opponents, 9 of last 10
MANCHESTER — The Solon Spartans continued their steady diet of bagels Monday night.
Emily Ira scattered four hits, and Class 4A second-ranked Solon moved to 17-0 with a 2-0 victory over No. 12 West Delaware in a Wamac Conference East Division softball double-header at Sill Field.
The second contest was suspended with storms incoming. The game was tied 0-0 in the top of the third.
It will be completed at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The Spartans moved to 7-0 in the division and extended their lead over the Hawks (16-4, 5-2) to two games.
Ira (10-0) struck out 14 batters, including three in the seventh inning after the Hawks got their first two batters on in the bottom of the seventh.
Kristen Wegmann and Marly Boies collected back-to-back single, then Emily Thole singled to load the bases with two outs. But Ira sprinkled in three strikeouts, moving her season total to 114 in 61 innings.
“She’s a horizontal pitcher,” West Delaware Coach Kevin Schuchmann said.
“She has a really nice curveball. She’s a lefty, and she throws in the low-60s That’s a good combination. And she doesn’t make mistakes.”
Solon has blanked five straight opponents and nine of the last 10. The Spartans have allowed one run in that 10-game span.
The opener was scoreless until the fourth, when Ira helped herself immensely.
Taylor Nearad walked and Ali Herdliska walked to start the scoring rally.
Then, after Monika Bevans was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Ira singled up the middle to plate a pair of runs.
Mallory Madsen and Nearad collected two hits apiece. Wegmann had a pair for the Hawks.
SOLON 2, WEST DELAWARE 0 (Game 1)
Solon 000 200 0 — 2 5 2
West Delaware 000 000 0 — 0 4 0
Emily Ira and Ali Herdliska. Hannah Cole and Ashley Heims. W — Ira (10-0). L — Cole (14-3).
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