Prep Softball

Elle Ridgeway's clutch hits enable Williamsburg to gain split with Mount Vernon

Class 3A top-5 teams split a pair of 1-run decisions in Wamac twinbill

Mount Vernon's Lauren Ryan (7) runs to third base as she's hit by the throw on its way to Williamsburg's Jill Holub (21)
Mount Vernon’s Lauren Ryan (7) runs to third base as she’s hit by the throw on its way to Williamsburg’s Jill Holub (21) during the first game of their doubleheader at Mount Vernon High School on Friday. The Mustangs won, 4-3, then Williamsburg won the finale, 3-2. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

MOUNT VERNON — They won’t crown summer-sports champions in the Wamac Conference this year. Just another thing the COVID-19 pandemic took away.

Best softball team in the league? That’s still up for debate.

Two very good teams split two very good games in Friday’s Wamac doubleheader at Mount Vernon High School. Elle Ridgeway came through with a clutch hit in the sixth inning to tie the nightcap, then came through with another in the seventh to push Class 3A fifth-ranked Williamsburg to a 3-2 victory.

“They were pitching me inside, and that’s something I like to hit,” she said. “I got one down the middle, and I just hit it.”

No. 4 Mount Vernon held on to capture the opener, 4-3, as Jenna Sprague scattered three hits.

“Two really good games,” Mount Vernon Coach Robin Brand said. “This is what we were expecting, and this is what you learn from.

“This was fun. We’ve had enough 10- and 12-run games. This will make both of us better.”

So, best team in the league? Open for debate. The Mustangs, who saw their eight-game winning streak come to an end, are 13-3 overall, 12-3 in the conference. Williamsburg is 14-4 and 13-3. West Delaware is 14-4, 14-2. Those are the three primary candidates, and they all split head-to-head matchups.

“It was definitely nice to come back and get a split tonight,” Williamsburg Coach Adam Berte said. “Usually, nobody’s happy with a split. They kind of dominated the first one, and we really didn’t square up either pitcher.”

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Mount Vernon outhit the Raiders 10-3 in the opener and led 4-0 after three innings before a sixth-inning two-run homer by Megan Lamparek brought the visitors within a run. But Sprague shut the door in the seventh.

In the nightcap, the Mustangs scored a pair of unearned runs in the fifth for a 2-1 lead, but Ridgeway was clutch. Twice.

“She’s a good hitter,” Berte said. “She backs up Jill (Holub) for a reason. You can’t pitch around Jill to get to Elle.”

Freshman pitcher Peyton Driscoll, who took the loss in the opener, came on with one on and one out in the bottom of the sixth in a 2-2 game and coaxed a pop-up double play to end the threat. After Ridgeway doubled home the lead run in the top of the seventh, Driscoll retired the side in order to earn the win.

MOUNT VERNON 4-2, WILLIAMSBURG 3-3

At Mount Vernon

Game 1

Williamsburg 000 012 0 — 3 3 1

Mount Vernon 013 000 x — 4 10 1

Peyton Driscoll and Carly Campbell. Jenna Sprague and Mandy Morrical. W — Sprague (8-2). L — Driscoll (7-3). HR — W: Megan Lamparek (2).

Game 2

Williamsburg 001 001 1 — 3 9 1

Mount Vernon 000 020 0 — 2 6 1

Jayden Kennebeck, Peyton Driscoll (6) and Carly Campbell. Nicole Sullivan, Summer Brand (7) and Mandy Morrical. W — Driscoll (8-3). L — Brand (4-1).

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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