Great defense and timely hitting gives high school softball teams a great chance of winning.
And when you combine those two factors with Clear Fork pitcher Darian Gottfried, you have a team that’s hard to beat.
The Colts used two key double plays as well as several big hits with runners in scoring position to roll past Triway in the season opener for both teams Monday afternoon at Clear Fork.
“We had a solid game,” Clear Fork coach Jeff Gottfried said. “We told the girls before the game started that if we didn’t score, we weren’t going to win. And we got a shutout the first game. It always makes you excited as a coach to play solid defense like that.”
Darian Gottfried posted a four-hit shutout for the win.
“I thought she threw very well,” Jeff Gottfried said. “With the first day out and for how cool it was. She didn’t get ahead all of the time, but when got in trouble, she slowed her pace down and focuses on what she needs to do. We had a lot of support behind her and that was impressive. She knows she needs that support to do well.”
“I think we did a good job coming together as a team and working hard,” Darian said, noting that Triway had no more than four batters come to the plate each inning. “We gave it all. It’s helpful as a pitcher to have the defense behind me, because the faster we can get back to the dugout, it makes it easier for us to be successful.”
An early boost came in the first inning, when right fielder Micaela Fidler threw out a runner at third base after catching a fly ball for a double play to end an early threat.
“That play gave us a lot of momentum and pumped us up,” Darian Gottfried said.
“They did really good against us,” Triway head coach Ron Rock said. “They had solid defense. We had bad, not smart baserunning on our part.”
But it wasn’t just about pitching and defense for the Colts.
The offense came through as well.
All ten Clear Fork batters reached base on Monday as seven batters added RBIs.
Caitlynn Hilverding and Macy Wade each recorded two hits to lead Clear Fork.
“(Aggressive baserunning) creates that mojo that we’re going to keep pressure on the other team,” Jeff Gottfried said. “We’re going to move runners. We’re not a powerful team, but we’re going to chip away and score runs every inning we can.”
Clear Fork will host Ashland on Tuesday.