Cyclones sweep Cats
An imposing presence on the mound and at the plate, Ottawa High School’s Hailie Ray proved to be just a bit too much for the De Soto Wildcats Tuesday.
Ray, the Cyclones’ ace, tossed a complete game with 14 strikeouts and only one earned-run in a 3-1 victory for Ottawa in the first game. In the nightcap, it was her bat that did the most damage as she slammed home nearly half of the team’s RBI’s. As a result, De Soto lost the second game in a less nail biting fashion, 9-3.
“(Ray) is usually one of the best in the league,” De Soto coach Melissa Wible said. “Ottawa generally has one very good pitcher every year.”
While the scoreboard did not reflect that the Wildcats hit well, they actually put together a few strong innings offensively—particularly the fifth and the seventh.
“Ray is a great pitcher, and that’s why I was telling them after the first game, I said ‘guys, if you’re hitting her, we should really do well the rest of the season,’” Wible said.
Wible had her own ace, Katie Williams, take the mound for the Wildcats. She too had a dominating performance, striking out eight Ottawa batters and allowing zero earned runs. Had it not been for a few throwing errors early in the contest, the final score could have been much different.
“Katie Williams pitched a great game,” Wible said. “And really, in that first game, I don’t believe any of them were earned, so it certainly wasn’t her fault. We were in it the whole time. It was just a few errors here and there that cost us that game.”
Ottawa scored runs in the first, fourth and fifth innings to give the Cyclones a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the seventh. Williams’ efforts with the bat nearly sparked a late comeback for De Soto, however. Down two strikes, Williams hit an RBI triple to bring the Wildcats within two, but a pop-up ended the game in the following at-bat.
The nightcap did not go quite as favorably for De Soto. After putting two runners on in the bottom of the first inning, the Wildcats looked poised to take the lead. But the Cyclones quickly caught Williams in a pickle between third and home to keep the Wildcats off the scoreboard.
Haley Brown’s RBI single in the bottom of the second inning gave De Soto a 2-1 advantage, but the lead was quickly erased in the top of the third by the heart of Ottawa’s batting order. Ottawa’s Shelby Miller doubled off the fence to score two runs. Then a single by Taylor Moore put two runners on for Ray. She did not disappoint as she took a Williams’ high fastball deep over the center field wall to push the Ottawa advantage to 6-2.
“Normally, in Ottawa, it’s five innings for us,” she said. “This was one of the first years we made it through both games (without being run-ruled). So that was definitely an exciting point. And the fact that at the end of this last game, we were losing by six, and we stayed in it until the very end.”
The Wildcats travel Thursday to Wellsville.