Mt. Hebron senior pitcher Maddie Bennett continued her hot start to the season on Monday, pitching a complete-game shutout against Long Reach to lead the Vikings to a 9-0 victory.
Bennett, who still hasn't allowed a run this spring, struck out 10 Lightning batters and walked just one. The offense for Mt. Hebron (4-0) did the rest, jumping out of the gates with five runs in the opening two innings and then adding two more runs in both the fifth and sixth.
Rachel Cadigan led the Vikings at the plate with a 4-5 day that also included two runs scored. Evvie Buehlman and Rylee Kinsella were right behind her with three hits apiece.
Mt. Hebron coach Chuck Struhar was just as pleased with the team's defense. Stephanie Bluhm had five assists from her third base position and catcher Meghan Holquist was a great battery mate for Bennett.
"When we get great pitching and solid defense, we are tough to beat," said Struhar, who also praised the defensive play of Kamden Lloyd and Julia Miller.
It took the Lions a few innings to get going, but with four or more runs in each of the last three innings the team was able to pull away for the convincing win.
Ally Wieman and Jamie Bahrijczuk split the pitching duties and allowed just a combined three hits on the day. Wieman, who struck out four, picked up the win.
At the plate, Howard was led by Eryn Keenan (double, 3 RBI), Shanya Gordon (3 hits, 3 RBI), Bahrijczuk (2 hits, double, 2 RBI), Brittany Bryson (2 RBI) and Katelyn Penix (2 hits, triple). Kayla Devin and Berit Batterton also added two steals apiece.
On the other side, Wilde Lake's hits came from sophomore Faith Leslie and seniors Mekayla Tucker and Cierra Lester. The Wildecats' best scoring opportunities came in the bottom of the second inning, where they loaded the bases with one out, and in the bottom of the fourth, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Neither chance, however, resulted in runs.