In Pursuit of Glory
Maidens looking to leave their mark
After a second place finish at State last year, the Ronan Maidens are looking for the title this time around. With a current record of 3-1, the Maidens are on the right track to reach that goal. Head Coach Kellie Manyhides is impressed with this group’s ability to step up to the plate.
“We have a solid group of players,” Manyhides said. “One of their strengths is how hard they work and want to win.”
Manyhides said that they still have a lot to work on, but her main concern is hammering the ball.
“We definitely want to be a team that comes out and hits,” Manyhides said. “We have a lot of strong hitters this year.”
Senior Jordyn Clairmont, who plays at shortstop, agrees that her teammates “can really crush the ball.”
“The bottom of our batting line-up is just as strong as our top,” Clairmont said.
The Maidens showed just how potent their batting was on Tuesday, April 12 at a double-header home game against Anaconda.
At the end of the first game, the bases were loaded with two outs and Anaconda was making some big plays. Carston Rhine took it upon herself to end the game by striking out an Anaconda batter. The Maidens won 8-6 and Rhine had seven strikeouts.
Rhine leads the Maidens defense from the mound with her pitching. Despite being in charge of the tempo of the game, Rhine finds this position natural.
“I have been pitching and playing softball for as long as I can remember,” Rhine said. “It feels comfortable for me to be on the mound and playing with these girls.”
In the second game, Gabby Wirz pitched and her sister, Sadie Wirz, was the catcher. Manyhides was impressed with the duo’s ability to maintain composure in an intense game.
“They both did a tremendous job, and Sadie really stepped up in the catching position,” Manyhides said.
The game went into extra innings, but the Maidens still came out with the 7-6 win.
Manyhides said the core of her team is her five seniors, and that a reason for their success is that they all share the same goal – winning a state championship.
“They work hard, and demonstrate leadership on and off the field, Manyhides said. “Kiana Brown has stepped into playing centerfield for us, Clairmont and Amanda Morency are our defensive all-stars, Rhine and Kaitlyn Sassaman are the best working team.”
The team will continue their journey to a state championship with a home game against Troy on Thursday, April 21 and another home game a week later against Plains.
Anaconda 100 111 2 – 6
Ronan 010 502 0 – 8
Carston Rhine and Kaitlyn Sassaman. Michaela Cortright and Hannah Schaefer.
W – Rhine. L – Cortright.
RONAN – Kaitlyn Sassaman 3-4, Sadie Wirz 0-3, Carston Rhine 2-4, Amanda Morency 2-4, Kiana Brown 1-3, Gabby Wirz 1-2, Kaitlyn Santos 0-3, Jordyn Clairmont 0-2, Courtnee Clairmont 1-2.
2B – Sassaman 2, Rhine. HR – Johnson. RBIs – Mavrinac, Johnson Sassaman 2, Morency, Clairmont 2.
Anaconda 003 110 0 1 – 6
Ronan 110 200 1 2 – 7
Andi Mavrinac and Hannah Schaefer. Gabby Wirz and Sadie Wirz. W – G. Wirz. L – Mavrinac.
RONAN – Kaitlyn Sassaman 2-5, Sadie Wirz 0-2, Carston Rhine 1-4, Amanda Morencey 1-4, Kiana Brown 2-4, Gabby Wirz 0-3, Kaitlyn Santos 1-4, Jordy Clairmont 3-4, Courtnee Clairmont 1-3.
2B – Flores 2, Sassaman, Rhine, Brown, C. Clairmont. HR – Cortright, Flores. RBIs – Schaefer, Cortright, Flores, Mavrinac; Sassaman 3, Morencey, Brown.