Cold weather, hot start
The young and untested Ronan Maidens start season by going 2-1 in a three-game homestand
The Maidens may have played their first game in blizzard conditions, but that didn’t stop them from getting off to a hot start.
The young Maiden squad went 2-1 in their three-game homestand to open the season and are just a couple of base hits from being perfect on the season.
Making her first high school starts at pitcher, Ronan sophomore Bethany Coleman (2-1) showed the poise of a veteran, getting in little trouble and being able to work out of the few jams she was in.
The Maidens opened the season with an 11-5 victory over Hamilton Thursday. After scoring three early runs against Stevensville Saturday, the Maidens held on for a 3-2 win to start a doubleheader. In the nightcap, the Maidens stranded eight runners in a 3-1 loss to Anaconda.
“I think it was awesome. We had some girls really step up and do some good things. We still have a long ways to go and a lot of things we need to improve on, but it was a really good start,” first-year Ronan coach Tom Peterson said.
With only three returning starters from last year, Peterson said his team made some mistakes, but that’s to be expected so early in the season. The important thing was that they were able to overcome their mistakes.
“I’m very happy. Starting the season 2-1 should be a confidence builder. Hopefully, it will let the girls know we’re on the right track,” Peterson said.
Making her first high school start, Coleman had to overcome a steady wind, snow flurries and four outfield errors. Despite the terrible weather conditions, Coleman was masterful in her first start, scattering eight hits and fanning 13 Lady Bronc batters to pick up her first win.
The only time Coleman was in trouble was in the top of sixth with the Maidens leading 9-0. After getting the first two outs, she gave up two base hits and watched four Lady Bronc runners cross home plate after three Maiden errors in the outfield. Coleman didn’t let the mistakes in the field rattle her and struck out Hamilton’s M. Wilson to end the threat. The Maidens added two insurance runs in their half of the sixth.
“I just keep my head in the game and try to stay confident,” Coleman said.
Peterson said that confidence comes from hard work.
“She (Coleman) works so hard. She’s confident because of all the time she puts into it,” Peterson said. “She knows she has the ability, so she’s able to focus on the technical and not worry about the situation.”
After being held off the scoreboard the first two innings, the Maidens drew first blood in the bottom of the third with three runs. Hitting in the eighth spot, Mackenzie Middleton started the rally with a single. Lindsay Clairmont, Katie Andrews and Paige Delaurenti all drew walks in the inning. Maiden cleanup hitter Chelsea Bourdon drove in Andrews and Delaurenti with her first double of the game.
Bourdon also had a two-run double in the Maidens’ six-run fourth inning, where 11 Maidens came up to bat.
Six of the nine Maiden starters finished with a base hit against the Lady Broncs. Bourdon and Middleton both went 2-for-4. Maiden second basemen Abby Luke was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate and scored a run in the fourth. Delaurenti, Lindsay and Britt Clairmont each went 1-for-3 at the plate.
In the bottom of the first against Stevensville, Andrews, the Maidens’ catcher reached base after an error by Lady Yellowjacket shortstop Bailey Vereruysser and stole home to score the Maidens’ first run. Bourdon had a single and, after stealing second and third, came home on a single by Britt Clairmont. The Maidens added another run in the third, when Lindsay Clairmont scored after drawing a no-out walk.
The two runs in the first were all the Maidens needed, but things got tense in the final inning. After giving up her first run in the fourth, Coleman put the Lady Yellowjackets down in order in the fifth and sixth, before getting in trouble in the seventh. After retiring Kilee Bartschi for the first out of inning, Coleman walked Stevi right fielder Jade Stordahl and then gave up a single to Vereruysser. Stordahl came around to score and Vereruysser hadmoved to third, just 60 feet away from tying the game, before Coleman ended the game by striking out Ashli Larum.
Peterson said the game didn’t need to be as close as it was. The Maidens had several chances to make the game a blowout, but couldn’t get the run across the plate. Ronan stranded eight runners in the game.
The Maidens inability to get runners home came back to bite them in the 3-1 loss to Anaconda. A loss where the Maidens’ outhit the Lady Copperheads 10-to-5. The Maidens had to feel a little snake bitten after the game, after watching their veteran hitter end a rally with a hard hit ball.
After giving up a run in the top of the third, the Maidens came back to tie the game in their half of the inning, when Lindsay Clairmont avenged a dropped ball in the opening half of the inning by driving in Delaurenti with a single. The Maidens had the bases loaded with two outs when Bourdon ended the threat with a hard hit ball to Anaconda second baseman Rachel Wagner. Britt Clairmont started the next inning with a hard hit out to Lady Copperhead pitcher Brooke Chapman.
“It was an interesting game. We had plenty of opportunities. We just couldn’t put it all together,” Peterson said. “But when you hit it hard, what more can you ask for,” he added.
Ronan 11, Hamilton 5
Hamilton 000 004 1–5 8
Ronan 003 602 x–11 9
Bethany Coleman and Katie Andrews. W - Coleman (1-0).
HAMILTON - K. Strandberg 0-3, M. Hood 3-4, N. Hood 1-4, A. Schultz 1-3, R. Hood 1-3, E. Taylor 1-3, M. Wilson 0-3, P. Chadwick 1-3, J. Bourne 0-3.
RONAN - Lindsay Clairmont 1-3, Andrews 0-1, Paige Delaurenti 1-2, Chelsea Bourdon 2-4, Brittani Clairmont 1-3, Abby Luke 2-2, Bethany Coleman 2-4, Mackenzie Middleton 2-4, Selah Waldron 0-4.
Ronan 3, Stevensville 2
Stevi 000 100 1–2 4 3
Ronan 201 000 x–3 6 3
Maddie Jones and Courtney Crockroft. Bethany Coleman and Katie Andrews. W - Coleman (2-0). L - Jones.
STEVENSVILLE - Bailey Vercyseen 1-4, Ashli Larum 1-4, Jones 0-3, Ashley Reid 2-3, Crockroft 0-3, Makaela Hallenbeck 0-3, Kilee Bartschi 0-3, Jade Stordahl 0-3, Randi Summers 0-3.
RONAN - Lindsay Clairmont 1-4, Andrews 1-3, Paige Delaurenti 1-3, Chelsea Bourdon 1-3, Brittani Clairmont 1-3, Abby Luke 0-3, Coleman 0-3, Mackenzie Middleton 0-3, Selah Waldron 2-3.
Anaconda 3, Ronan 1
Anaconda 001 020 0–3 5 2
Ronan 001 000 0–1 10 2
Brooke Chapman and Lisa Laslovich. Bethany Coleman and Katie Andrews. W - Chapman. L - Coleman (2-1)
ANACONDA - Lasolvich 1-4, Hanna Anderson 2-4. Rachel Wagner 0-4, Vanessa Jense 1-4, Abby Stanberry 0-3, Ali Forkan 0-3, Korey Krumm 0-2, Lauren Bolton 0-1, Jeanna Brunell 0-3, Karli King 1-3.RONAN - Lindsay Clairmont 3-4, Andrews 2-4, Paige Delaurenti 1-4, Chelsea Bourdon 0-5, Brittani Clairmont 0-3, Bethany Coleman 2-3, Mackenzie Middleton 1-3, Selah Waldron 1-3.