Oak Hill’s Charlotte Waterman slides safely into second while Telstar second baseman Hannah Evans awaits a throw during the Raiders’ 15-0 victory in Wales on Wednesday.

WALES — Kylee Martin and Telstar got off on the right foot in Wednesday’s game against Oak Hill, with the Rebels’ leadoff hitter singling on the first pitch of the game before then moving to third on a sacrifice bunt.

Four innings later, Telstar’s starting pitcher and the Rebels got off the field on the wrong foot, and on the wrong end of a 15-0 loss in five innings in an MVC softball showdown.

Martin went down with a lingering foot injury in the bottom of the fourth inning while pitching. By that time, the Raiders (10-3) had all but knocked her out on the scoreboard, putting up 15 runs on 13 hits while recording just 11 outs.

“I knew that she had a little bit of a problem with her foot, but I didn’t know it was as bad as it was,” Telstar (7-6) coach Jim Lunney said. “And hopefully she’ll be back. We don’t need her the last game of the year, but we need her if we’re going to do anything to just get through the first round of the playoffs. We don’t have a second pitcher.”

Oak Hill didn’t need a second pitcher Wednesday, but Sadie Waterman did need a second to get locked into her zone on the rubber. After allowing Martin’s lead-off single, Waterman allowed just two more hits the rest of the way, while striking out five batters and not walking any.

“She has just been in the zone,” Raiders coach Allyson Collins said. “I think she’s feeling more comfortable. She trusts her teammates behind her, and that has made her a lot stronger and feel more comfortable throwing different pitches, and just being able to come after batters and not being afraid that they’re going to hit the ball, knowing that we’ll field behind her. So that’s given her a lot of confidence.”

Aneah Bartlett laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved Martin from first to third in the top of the first, but Waterman sandwiched a pair of strikeouts around a hit-by-pitch to get out of that jam.

“It was pretty big,” Waterman said. “The fact that we had someone on third and they didn’t get home, that sets the pace for the whole game.”

Waterman recorded five of her first eight outs via strikeout, but then turned to her defense to take care of the rest. The biggest came in the top of the fourth when third baseman Abby Nadeau gunned down Telstar’s Taylor Mason at home to prevent the Rebels from scoring.

Collins said the Raiders’ defense has been rock solid the past three games. It, along with Waterman’s pitching, have caught up with the Oak Hill offense, which Collins called “our strong suit this season.”

The Raiders got the bats going early. After Waterman popped out to start the bottom of the first, Charlotte Waterman and Mahala Smith followed with consecutive bunt singles. A walk drawn by Emma Hlister loaded the bases before an error and a sacrifice fly drove in two runs. Another came home on a wild pitch, giving Oak Hill a quick 3-0 lead.

Martin worked around a one-out single by Kaitlyn Ridley for a scoreless second inning, but ran into trouble in the third. The first six batters of the inning reached, with an error, a hit-by-pitch and a walk loading the bases before Kiera Young smacked the first hit of the frame to drive in two runs. Julia Ahlberg singled in another run, then Young was safe at home on Hannah Nadeau’s fielder’s choice grounder.

Two runs scored later on a Sadie Waterman sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch to make it 9-0.

“They hit the ball well,” Lunney said. “We shot ourselves in the foot though, with just errors and not catching the ball, and have a girl trapped off third base and don’t get her.”

The Raiders did all their damage in the bottom of the fourth with hits — seven of them to be exact, with Smith’s double the last of the game and the first and only extra-base hit of the contest.

“We got down bunts pretty well,” Sadie Waterman said. “I mean, we usually do, but we did exceptionally well with that. And everyone throughout the whole offense can hit.”

Bartlett took over for Martin in the circle after Smith’s double. She walked Hlister on four pitches before finding the zone and getting Abby Nadeau to ground out.

Any Telstar hope at a comeback was made even harder in the top of the fifth when Martin’s spot in the lineup came up with one out. The Rebels were out of substitutes, so an automatic out was Waterman’s easiest of the game. Bartlett then grounded out to finish up the five-inning affair.

“We needed it,” Collins said. “After the last game we played against them, and kind of fell apart. A little nerves beginning of the season, and they knew coming into this that it was a must-win, and they had something to prove.”

“We knew we were in a uphill battle for us coming in here. And we beat them the last time, so we knew they weren’t real happy with us,” Lunney said. “Didn’t play well. We shouldn’t have won.

“It wasn’t our day, plain and simple.”

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Oak Hill’s Julia Ahlberg connects for a single in the fourth inning of the Raiders’ 15-0 victory over Telstar in Wales on Wednesday.Telstar’s Josie Forbes bounces a swing into the dirt during the Rebels’ 15-0 loss to Oak Hill in Wales on Wednesday.Oak Hill starting pitcher Sadie Waterman tracks a pitch during the Raiders’ 15-0 victory over Telstar in Wales on Wednesday.Telstar starting pitcher Kylee Martin lunges during her delivery in the first inning of the Rebels’ 15-0 loss to Oak Hill in Wales on Wednesday.

Oak Hill catcher Emma Hlister tags out Telstar’s Taylor Mason at home while Telstar teammate Julia Cherkis and the home plate umpire look on during the Raiders’ 15-0 victory in Wales on Wednesday.


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