NEWBERRY — A complete-game win by Alyssa Ball and several sparkling defensive plays by third baseman Haley Wildes lifted Newberry to a 5-3 win in the second game with visiting Catawba Tuesday to highlight a doubleheader split.
Ball earned her 10th win of the season by allowing just six hits, needing a stingy 82 pitches to dispatch of Catawba (19-18, 7-5 SAC) in seven innings. Her efforts were bolstered by Wildes, who made a lunging stab at a sharp grounder to her right and threw across the diamond, then ranged to her left to make another slick play on the very next pitch to end the sixth inning.
Wildes made two more plays on ground balls for the final two outs of the seventh. She also established a new career high with three hits, going 3-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI on a first-inning double, a play that also included a throwing error and an unearned run to put the Wolves (24-14, 5-5 SAC) ahead 3-0 early.
Newberry had scored earlier in the frame on Paige Meyer’s RBI single to right field. Daphne Peyton provided both insurance runs, jumping on a 1-0 pitch for her second home run of the season in the second inning and lacing an RBI double into right field in the third.
Catawba scored all three of its runs in the third inning on an infield single and two fielder’s choices. Ball shut the Catawba Indians down after that, allowing just three hits the rest of the way. She worked a three-pitch inning in the fifth, allowing a single, getting a 4-6-3 double play, and a 6-3 putout on consecutive pitches.
Ball needed 20 pitches to complete the final three innings and retired 10 of the last 11 batters she faced.
The Wolves bounced back in Game Two after falling 5-2 in the day’s first contest. Catawba scored two runs in both the third and fourth innings, compiling five hits between the two frames, an tacked on another run in the seventh.
Newberry got RBI groundouts from Sydney Patterson and Paige Meyer in the third and fourth innings, but could get no closer. Emily Marchbanks suffered just her third loss of the season, totaling 12 hits and six strikeouts in a complete-game effort. Preston Ellenberg earned the win for the Catawba Indians with Brooke Walser recording the save, allowing a single hit over the final 2.2 innings.