Less than 24 hours after suffering a heartbreaking loss to Bridgeport, Martins Ferry bounced back Thursday afternoon and handed the same type of defeat to visiting Shadyside.
Scoring an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth, the Purple Riders (11-11) rode the two-hit pitching of Cirstie Delguzzo to a 1-0 shutout of the slumping Tigers (15-7) high atop the Purple City.
"After yesterday (a 3-1 setback), I wasn't sure which team was going to show up today," allowed Martins Ferry head coach Paige Williams. "But the girls came right back and got after it. It still wasn't pretty, but a win is a win."
T-L Photo/KIM NORTH
MARTINS FERRY’S Addie Suriano is out at the plate after trying to score from second on a wild pitch during Thursday’s action against Shadyside high atop the Purple City. Applying the tag is Tigers’ pitcher Megan Heagney. The Purple Riders won, 1-0.
Both teams have been having trouble manufacturing runs of late, so it was no surprise they combined for just six hits, with the Purple collecting four of them.
"Shadyside is a good team, but CD pitched a very good game against them," Williams said of Delguzzo. The hard-throwing senior finished with eight strikeouts and two walks among her 84 pitches (60 strikes).
"This is the second day in a row that Cirstie has been really good inside the circle. She's really been pitching well."
Her counterpart, Megan Heagney, was equally impressive. The Tigers' freshman whiffed nine and didn't walk a batter in tossing a four-hitter, of which only one safety reached the outfield grass.
"Megan pitched well enough to win, but we have to score her some runs," Shadyside's Jillian Ongley lamented. "We've been in a slump lately. It's not just one or two or three players, it seems like it is the entire team.
"When the season began we were hitting from the top to the bottom of our lineup, but know we can't get a hit anywhere."
Martins Ferry loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth with no outs. Freshman Kady Webb struck out swinging to start the inning, but the ball got away from the catcher and she hustled down to first base. Addie Suriano and Morgan Stalder reached on bunt singles to fill the sacks.
After Heagney got an important strikeout for out No. 2, she got ahead of Kylie Stalder 0-1 before delivering a pitch in the dirt that got away from catcher Angela McKeever. Pinch runner Megan Rose raced home without a throw, but McKeever recovered in time and threw to Heagney covering the plate to get Suriano trying to score to end the inning.
Shadyside could only muster two baserunners in the first four innings, both on walks to Hayley Holenka. However, in the fifth McKeever lined a solid one-out single to right-center to break up Delguzzo's no-hit bid. One out later, she would advance to second on Sarah Dierkes' slow infield roller to the right side. McKeever would be called out for interference on Karli Bonar's tapper to the left side to end the threat.
The Tigers threatened again in the sixth when Holenka lined a two-out double down the leftfield line.
A wild pitch moved her to third, but Suriano made a game-saving sliding catch of Tierney Duncan's sinking liner in shallow rightfield to snuff out that scoring opportunity.
"Their second baseman saved them with that play," Ongley said of Suriano's web gem. "That was a very good play on her part."
The hosts mounted a threat of their own in the sixth when Delguzzo sliced a leadoff triple to left. Webb followed with a popup to shallow center that Bonar snagged. He throw to the plate was well ahead of Delguzzo, who had tagged. The Purple Rider stopped and headed back to third but was gunned down on a nice throw from Dierkes to Duncan.
Delguzzo took matters into her own hands, literally, in the seventh. She struck out the first two Tigers before catching a foul popup to end the game.
Suriano had a pair of infield singles for the Purple Riders.
Martins Ferry hosts Steubenville Central today at 4 p.m. in a twinbill. Shadyside begins Division IV sectional tournament action Tuesday against Toronto. Linescore:
Shadyside 000 000 0 - 0 2 0
Martins Ferry 000 100 x - 1 4 0
Batteries: Heagney and McKeever, Dierkes (5). Delguzzo and K. Hotlosz
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org