By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
BRADFORD — It was a beautiful day to play softball at Bradford High School Saturday afternoon.
And it wasn’t going to take long for a big momentum swing one way or the other as the Railroaders and Covington resumed their CCC game that was suspended 10 days ago in the third inning.
The game resumed with Covington leading 6-3 and Bradford having the bases loaded in the home third with one out.
The game resumed with Covington getting a force out at home on a fielder’s choice for the second out and the Buccs were one out from getting out of the jam.
But, that out didn’t come until Bradford had plated six runs to take a 9-6 lead and the Railroaders went on to win 14-8.
Bradford improved to 18-4 with the win, while Covington dropped to 7-13.
“The game starting where it did, I was just hoping to get back to 0-0 (a 6-6 tie) and play them from there for four innings,” Shaffer said. “Instead, we took the lead.”
The first three runs came on walks by Buzz Brewer, Austy Miller and Abby Fike as Bradford showed great patience at the plate.
“That is something I girls have done all year,” Shaffer said. “They can swing the bat and they know the strike zone.”
Then, Emma Canan had a single and an error allowed all three runs to score and Canan end up on third base with Bradford leading 9-6 before Covington got the third out.
Going back to when the inning started 10 days ago, Bradford drew five walks in the inning and had one hit batter, while recording just one hit.
“You can’t walk three batters like that in one inning and expect to have a chance to win the game,” Covington coach Phil Smith said. “We only had one big error, but it led to three runs.”
Covington came right back with two runs in the fourth to get within 9-8.
Ashlyn Plessinger reached on an error.
Kenzie Long doubled her in and scored on Kirstie Barnes RBI single.
But, Covington would get just one hit in its final three at bats off Maggie Manuel.
“We tried to battle back,” Smith said. “But, we just couldn’t get things going today.”
Bradford put the game away with a four-run fifth and added a single run in the sixth.
“You can’t give up 10 runs in two innings,” Smith said.
Brewer started things in the fifth with a single up the middle.
Miller reached on an error and Fike drilled a RBI single.
Emma Canan was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Elisa Martinez had a RBI single and Bianca Keener followed with a two-run single to make it 13-8.
In the sixth, Mller had a leadoff double and Fike had her fourth RBI single of the game to make it 14-8.
She was 4-for-4 in the game with five RBIs.
“As far as a standout, Abby Fike,” Shaffer said about the freshman third baseman. “She had numerous RBIs and scored numerous runs. She is clutch. You don’t have a lot of freshman who can do the things she does.”
Bradford also had a couple web gems to help out Manuel, who pitched an eight-hitter, striking out three, walking five and hitting two batters.
Shortstop Miller was almost in the outfield grass and gunned a runner out at first base, while first baseman Keener did am amazing job of not putting her foot on a high-and-wide throw to get another out.
“I knew once we got going we were going to roll today,” Shaffer said. “The kids did a great job. I thought we would go right through the order and that is exactly what we did.”
Both coaches were happy to see live pitching.
Bradford plays Triad in a D-IV sectional final at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Newton.
Covington plays Riverside in a D-IV sectional final at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Houston.
“If we hadn’t had a game, we would have been looking for one,” Smith said.
“I told Phil (Smith) this couldn’t have worked out better,” Shaffer said. “We both won Thursday, we both have a game Tuesday and we would have both been looking to find a game, if we hadn’t had this game.”
On a beautiful day for softball.
Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at email@example.com
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