YORK – It was pretty much what everyone thought it would be as the Class B No. 2 Blair Bears and the No. 9 York Dukes battled for the York softball quad title in the final game of the day on Saturday.
The two teams won their first two games on Saturday, with Blair topping Fillmore Central/Exeter-Milligan 6-1 and O'Neill 10-0 in five innings.
York on the other hand started off slow offensively before downing O'Neill 4-0 before the Panthers of FC/EM gave the Dukes all they could handle in a 3-1 loss.
The battle between two of the top teams in Class B never materialized as York pitcher Taylor Kadavy held the Blair Bears to just four hits and pitched out of several jams in a 4-0 win that moved York's season record to 3-0 on the year.
York took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI single off the bat of sophomore Jordyn Stearns and the team added single runs in the second, third and fifth to post the win.
Blair was not without chances as the Bears stranded six runners over the first three innings, including a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the second.
With Blair threatening to take the lead, Kadavy struck out Morgan Schenck and got a slow roller to shortstop off the bat of Emma Grote to end the threat.
In the fifth the Bears opened with a single and a double from Schenck and Grote, but Kadavy retired Kylie Rome on strikes and coaxed a ground-out to short and a fly-out to left field to end the Bears chances.
Kadavy led the Dukes with a 3-4 performance, went 7-10 on the day and singled in the second to score Atlanta Maronde, who also had two hits in two plate appearances for the Dukes.
In the third Maronde drove in Hayley Nienhueser who had walked and in the fifth Veronica Botts walked, stole second and scored on Maronde's single to make it 4-0.
York's Stearns was 2-4 while Nienhueser and Adrienne Gocke each had one hit in the Dukes' 10-hit attack.
“The girls saved their best game for last as they put together a great game both defensively and offensively,” stated York head coach Danyel Seevers. “Our bats really got going against a solid pitcher from Blair with 10 hits in five-plus innings. Atlanta Maronde had two hits that drove in two runs. Taylor Kadavy also had three hits against the No. 2 ranked Bears. I'm proud of how we competed against three solid teams. We have a great start to the season. We know we need to stay focused, continue to practice for a purpose, and prepare for every pitch. These girls have great goals and understand what it is going to take to reach them.”
Kadavy finished the game with five strikeouts, six walks and on the day picked up wins in all three games. She only gave up 12 hits the entire day.
“On the mound Taylor (Kadavy) and our defense shut out a very powerful lineup and only allowed four hits. Taylor did great on the mound adjusting to each team and working her way out of jams. To play three rated teams and only give up one run is a great weekend defensively. Very pleased with how we fielded the ball when they got the ball in play. Taylor not only had a great day on the mound but was also 7-10 at the plate. Jordyn Stearns also had a great day at the plate going 6 - 10 on the day.”
In the win over the O'Neill Eagles, the Dukes picked up two runs in the third and added single counters in the fourth and sixth.
In the win, Kadavy and Stearns had two hits each, while Katlyn Horras bombed a home run against the wind.
Kadavy allowed three hits and the Dukes finished with seven in the game. She struck out 10 and walked three.
In the win over the Panthers, the Dukes found themselves locked in a 1-1 tie after the top of third.
Following an error and a single by Kadavy, Stearns ripped a line drive right at the FC/EM third baseman that shot off the top of her glove into left field.
That scored Hannah Riley who was on third. The next batter, Nienhueser, hit a ground ball to the right side to plate Kadavy with the Dukes' second run of the inning for a 3-1 lead that would prove to be the final score.
Kadavy 'K'd six, walked one and allowed five hits.
“We had a few first game jitters going on in our game against O'Neill. We struggled getting our bats going but defensively did a great job holding them scoreless. Taylor really threw well holding them to three hits,” said Seevers. “I do want to thank the great crowd we had today. The fan support gets better and better with each year and the coaches and players appreciate it. We have a big game tonight (Tuesday) against our conference rival Seward at Miller Park.”