They’re the tops: Baney, Smith, Stiles help Mathias win first game as Valley coach
Moriarty, Smith homer as Valley improves to 2-0
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Tippecanoe Valley 22, NorthWood 4 (5 innings, Monday)
“No slowing down,” Tippecanoe Valley softball coach Brittany Mathiassaid when asked about her philosophy about baserunning.
It might just be her philosophy for her entire team.
She was ready for her first game as a varsity head coach, and so were her players. She said she hadn’t been able to eat all day. Just like their coach, the top three batters in the order appeared especially ready.
Valley pounced on NorthWood for 10 runs in the first inning and cruised to a 22-4 win in five innings Monday at a refurbished Valley softball diamond.
The top three hitters – Brayden Baney, Madi Smith and Corinna Stiles – went a combined 9 for 9 with nine RBIs and 10 runs scored.
Brittany Benn had two hits and two RBIs, and Macy Kirchenstien had two hits and an RBI. Abby Bowers had a hit and two runs scored. Mercedes Snapp went hitless in four plate trips, but she scored three runs.
Stiles pitched the first 2 ⅓ innings for the win. Kirchenstien pitched 1 ⅔ scorless innings before Bowers mopped up in the fifth.
But it was Valley’s top three hitters who starred. Baney, a junior shortstop, had two doubles, a hit by pitch and a single and drove in three. Her first hit was to right-center field, her second hit was down the left field line, and her third hit was a bloop hit to straightaway center.
“Brayden is just an all-around great athlete,” Mathias said. “She does what you ask of her, and she’s able to do it, which is all I ask for. So give her something to do, and she can put it anywhere.”
Smith had a walk, a hit by pitch, a two-run double and an RBI single. Stiles had four singles – two of which were bunts – and had three RBIs.
Baney started the bottom of the first with a double on a 3-2 pitch. She stole third and scored on a passed ball. Benn’s two-run single made it 3-0. Bowers’ grounder to short ended in a throwing error, which scored two more runs and made it 5-0. Bowers would later score on a wild pitch to make it 6-0. Baney’s second double of the inning scored Snapp and made it 7-0. Stiles’ seeing-eye two-run single in the hole to left scored Baney and Smith to make it 9-0. Stiles then scored on a passed ball to make it 10-0.
“I always tell my girls to be super aggressive behind the plate, but I also want them to be smart about it as well,” Mathias said. “So any time balls are coming in and they’re just ball after ball after ball, then we have to be patient because then we can be aggressive on the bases.”
Valley scored three of their five runs in the second inning after the second out and six of their seven runs in the third inning after the second out.
“Tonight was a really good night to also get all three of my pitchers in,” Mathias said. “Corinna did really well when she got the jitters out. She was able to calm down and just get it across the plate.”
Valley 22, NorthWood 4 (5 innings)
NorthWood 003 01 – 4 6 6
Valley (10)57 0X – 22 14 2
WP – Corinna Stiles
LP – Ashlyn Brooke
2B – Brayden Baney 2 (TV), Madi Smith (TV), Macy Kirchenstien (TV)
Tippecanoe Valley 16, South Bend Riley 6 (5 innings, Wednesday)
Madi Smith and Molly Moriarty homered to lift the Valley softball team to a home win over South Bend Riley Wednesday.
Moriarty went 2 for 2 with three RBIs and four runs scored, and Kayleena Agnew singled, walked and also had three RBIs. Smith had three hits, two RBIs and three runs scored, and Mercedes Snapp had a double and two RBIs. Sydney Rhamey also drove in a run.
Corinna Stiles also had two hits and two runs scored.
Valley also did not strike out against South Bend Riley hurler Emma Meett.
Abby Bowers allowed five earned runs over 3 ⅓ innings for the win in the circle. She allowed four hits, walked five and fanned nine. Macy Kirchenstien pitched the final 1 ⅔ innings.
After scoring 10 runs in the first inning against NorthWood Monday, Valley scored four in the first against the Lady Wildcats.
Valley carried an 8-6 lead going into the bottom of the fourth before scoring five in the fourth and three in the fifth to end the game.
The game was played in windy, 40-degree weather along Indiana 19.
“The wind was blowing out,” Valley coach Brittany Mathias said. “The cold really affected it the most, I think. The girls just weren’t as upbeat, I would say, because they were trying to stay warm. We did have a delay to our game waiting for South Bend (Riley) to get here, so I just made sure the girls kept throwing and kept running and kept swinging a bat to stay warm.”
The wind affected both home runs.
“Madi and Molly, they barely swung the bat and the ball went over (the fence),” Mathias said. “If you asked both of them, they would tell you that. That was just phenomenal. That was so good.”
Valley’s spring break is next week. Their next game is at Triton on April 12.
“Most of my girls are going on spring break somewhere,” Mathias said. “So they just have to take a glove and a ball, and they have to send pictures to me of them practicing.
“We did talk tonight: We have to work on sliding. So a lot of them just said they’re going to slide into the ocean. So that’s the plan.”
Valley 16, South Bend Riley 6 (5 innings)
SB Riley 002 40 – 6
Valley 404 53 – 16
WP – Abby Bowers
LP – Emma Meett
2B – Avi Heilman (SBR), Kayle Long (TV), Mercedes Snapp (TV)
HR – Molly Moriarty (TV), Madi Smith (TV)