Vet. Purchasing Midget-Juniors have just five regular-season games remaining
By Pat Payton
On a night when the Veterinary Purchasing Midget-Juniors improved their Huron-Perth Fastball League record to 15-0, they also won 15-0.
At Teddy’s Field last Thursday night, Rob and Kelly Wiffen’s squad scored the maximum seven runs in both the third and fourth innings to mercy the Mitchell Hornets, last year’s league champions, in five innings.
Winning pitcher Natalie Reay threw all five innings for St. Marys, allowing just two singles, while striking out five. Only two Hornets advanced as far as third base.
Offensively, it was another balanced attack by the home team as nine different players scored at least one run. The Vet. Purchasing squad got a lot of production from the top half of the order with six of their 10 hits coming from the first three batters.
Lead-off batter Nathalie Bettger led the way with a pair of triples and scored three runs. Jensen Dundas added two doubles and scored twice, while Ashlyn Maxwell had a single and double and also crossed the plate twice.
Carly McEwan and Kaitlyn Sleeper each rapped singles, reached base twice, and scored both times. Robyn Lewis and Bailey Wiffen also had hits and both scored a run.
Defensively, Dundas made a “beautiful catch” in centre field.
After 14 games, Mitchell has just five points and sits third last in the 11-team league.
Two nights earlier at Teddy’s Field, the Vet. Purchasing Midget-Juniors mercied Cambridge for the second time this season–rolling to a five-inning 17-2 victory over the Cougars.
The St. Marys coaching staff reported “great hitting” was a highlight as the home team collected 16 hits–including six for extra bases–in the one-sided affair. The big innings for St. Marys were the second (seven runs) and the fourth (five runs).
Veteran Ashlyn Maxwell paced the plate parade by going 4-for-4, with a two-run homer, triple and single and two runs scored. Bailey Wiffen added a double and two singles, and scored a team-high three runs. Robyn Lewis contributed two doubles and a single in three trips, while Natalie Reay belted a single and double and scored twice.
Aimee King and Sam Truax each stroked two singles, while Nathalie Bettger, Jensen Dundas and Carly McEwan all scored twice.
On the mound, King pitched the first four innings, fanning four Cambridge batters. Reay threw the final inning and struck out three. Neither pitcher gave up a hit.
At Innerkip on Monday, July 8, the Vet. Purchasing Midget-Juniors kept their season-long winning streak alive with a come-from-behind 9-5 victory over the Jr. Eagles.
Trailing 4-2 going into their final at-bat in the top of the seventh inning, St. Marys scored the maximum seven runs to grab the lead. Nathalie Bettger, Jensen Dundas, Robyn Lewis and Bailey Wiffen all had key hits and scored runs in the rally. Ashlyn Maxwell, Natalie Reay and Aimee King also scored runs in the decisive seventh.
The visitors then held the Eagles to just one run in the bottom half of the frame. “It was a great comeback,” the Vet. Purchasing coaches reported.
Wiffen had two singles and a walk and scored twice to spark the St. Marys offence. Dundas had a single and two walks, while Bettger’s one-out double ignited the last-inning rally.
Starter Wiffen worked three and one-third innings, striking out two. Maxwell came in to pitch in the fourth and finished with seven strikeouts. She fanned the final two Innerkip batters in the bottom of the seventh with runners on second and third base.
Busy finishing stretch: Starting this week, the Vet. Purchasing Midget-Juniors have five games in an eight-day stretch (weather permitting). They were scheduled to host DKMB River Cats (Delaware, Komoka, Mt. Brydges) on Tuesday of this week. The team then hits the road for games in Listowel on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. and in Mitchell on Sunday at 8:45 p.m.
Next week, the St. Marys girls travel to Fullarton on Monday to play the A’s No. 2 squad at 9 p.m. The team then completes its 20-game regular schedule with a home game Tuesday against Milverton Millwrights at 8:30 p.m.