Sauquoit – Most second pitchers on softball teams don’t see much action, especially if the team’s ace is a returning All-State player.
Jamie Weakley is no ordinary second pitcher.
The Poland freshman began the year with a close loss to Class B power Canastota and was unbeaten since. The righty extended her streak Thursday in the first game of a doubleheader at Sauquoit Valley. Weakley scattered five hits in an 11-0 victory and had 11 strikeouts with no walks. Weakley also hit a two-run homer and singled.
“I thought she pitched a very good game,” Poland’s veteran coach Greg Haver said in between games. “But it took a while for our bats to wake up.”
Poland did strike for three runs in the first inning on two straight hits, a walk and an error. All-State senior Mikayla Blumenstock and Taylor had the singles, Allen walked and All-State junior pitcher Jordan Batson hit the grounder that was misplayed. Two walks followed and suddenly it looked like the hosts were doomed.
They weren’t though, as freshman pitcher Jayna Inglis retired the next three batters. She kept her team within striking distance for four innings as Poland could add only a run in the second inning. Blumenstock singled, stole two bases then scored on Becca Baker’s RBI walk.
The state-ranked visitors plated another run in the fifth to pad the lead while Weakley was scattering the five hits she allowed. Haver’s team put the game away in the top of the seventh with six runs, the last two coming on Weakley’s first home run over a fence. Her blast to center field cleared easily.
“I’ve hit the fence a few times,” Weakley said of her longest hits at Poland’s fenced field. “That was my first (over). The pitch was right down the middle.”
Weakley was unaffected by the 79-degree heat and was effective with all her pitches. “My changeup worked best,” she said.
The one thing that didn’t change for the hosts was how they lost.
“We’ve lost 11 games and in every one there’s been one big inning,” coach Fred Orsino said. “The wheels fall off.”
Most of the time Sauquoit Valley (3-12) played fairly good defense. The infield had a number of smart force plays and came close to double plays a few times. Blumenstock had a pair of stellar plays as well in the field to lead the Tornadoes (13-1), and she had three hits. Allen led the visitors with four hits in the first game.
Payton Martin had two of Sauquoit Valley’s five hits in the opener.
Poland won the second game 11-2 as Blumenstock homered and tripled, Weakley doubled and singled twice and Batson went the five innings, striking out three and walking two in a four hitter. .