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Bucktail blanks Griffins 11-0 in District 4 Class A softball quarterfinals

TIM WEIGHT/Special to the Sun-Gazette Bucktail players celebrate with one another after defeating Sullivan County, 11-0, in the District 4 Class A quarterfinals. Bucktail will play Montgomery in the semifinals this afternoon at Elm Park.

FARWELL — Just as nearly all their wins in the regular season have gone, Bucktail had little problem knocking off Sullivan County in the opening round of the District 4 Class A quarterfinals, 11-0, on Tuesday afternoon.

The Bucks will be at Elm Park this afternoon to take on Montgomery in the district semifinals. The Red Raiders handed Bucktail both of their losses this season.

Bucktail wasted no time showing their dominance jumping out to a 5-0 lead after the first inning powered by Makenzie Wagner’s two-RBI single that scored Jordan and Haley Burrows. Bucktail took advantages from a couple of walks and a hit by pitch from Sullivan pitcher Lorena Marquardt to push the lead to five.

The Bucks showed some defensive grit in the top of the second as shortstop Wagner fielded a ground ball and made short toss to Haley Burrows, who tagged second and threw a dart to Matti Mason on first to complete a double play. It was the last thing the Griffins needed to happen, give the home team even more confidence and momentum and that’s just what the play did for Bucktail and their large crowd of fans.

Sullivan’s best chance of scoring came in the top of the third when they loaded the bases with two outs. Kayla Fowler was at the plate and worked a 3-0 count before starting pitcher Emma Poorman came back and struck her out to end the inning.

TIM WEIGHT/Special to the Sun-Gazette Bucktail’s Emma Poorman pitches against Sullivan County on Tuesday.

Bucktail would set up the eventual 10-run rule win in the bottom of the third paced by a two-RBI double from Haley Burrows, an RBI double from Poorman and a two-out RBI single by Mason.

Wagner took the mound for the final two innings as she finished the shut-out win that Poorman had started.

The playoff win was equal parts expected and appreciated by coach Mike Poorman.

“I thought we did on OK job, defensively we did well, they tried to be sneaky a few times and we caught them every time” Poorman said.

The coach was referring to instances like a play in the first inning where the Griffins had a runner on first and took a big lead, tempting Bucktail catcher Jordan Burrows to throw the ball to first. Burrows obliged and, on the set play, the runner took off for second. Freshman Matti Mason was more than ready for the steal attempt and threw a laser to Wagner who was covering second and easily put the tag on the runner.

TIM WEIGHT/Special to the Sun-Gazette Bucktail catcher Jordan Burrows plays against Sullivan County on Tuesday.

“Pitching we did all right, eight walks between two pitchers aren’t going to get it done Thursday (in the semifinals),” Poorman said before even knowing his opponent would be Montgomery.

Despite the guarded optimism as he critiqued his teams’ win, the coach was appreciative of the way his players came through when needed.

“For the most part we threw strikes when we had to, when we saw good pitches to hit, we hit them, this was a good win for us,” Poorman said. “I told the girls we clean a couple of things up and move forward now. We’re 1-0 in the playoffs and when we wake up tomorrow, we’re 0-0 going into Thursday. It’s a new start and a new game.”

Haley Burrows finished the day from plate going 2 for 2 with a pair of RBI and scoring three runs. Wagner also had two hits and two RBI as Poorman picked up the win on the mound and scored three runs. The win moved Bucktail to 18-2.

TIM WEIGHT/Special to the Sun-Gazette Bucktail’s Mackenzie Wagner tries to slide home against Sullivan County on Tuesday afternoon in Farwell in the District 4 Class A quarterfinals. Wagner was tagged out on the play.

TIM WEIGHT/Special to the Sun-Gazette Bucktail’s Haley Burrows looks toward the umpire after reaching third base as Sullivan County tries to get her out. Burrows was safe on the play.

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