With the Nevada County Fast Pitch Softball regular season title on the line, defending champ EventHelper.com showed why they are the class of the local league.
The ballers in orange used timely hitting, good pitching and sound defense Wednesday to beat the JMS Builders Bulldogs, 8-5, at Memorial Park to clinch the regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
The victory gives EventHelper.com a 9-2-1 record overall, and drops the Bulldogs to 8-3-1 and into the No. 2 seed.
EventHelper.com pitcher Will Maddux said the victory is welcome, but the league is so even this season that all the teams are contenders in the postseason.
“It’s not that important,” Maddux said about earning the No. 1 seed. “We’re probably going to have to face them again in the playoffs. The league is so even, we could end up playing anyone. As the No.1 seed you might get to play a lower seed, but the league is so even this season, I don’t even know if it’s an advantage.”
Maddux earned the win from the circle, pitching six innings, allowing nine hits and five runs while striking out five.
From the plate, EventHelper.com was led by catcher Donner Walters with a 3-for-4 day, including a double and three RBIs.
“He’s the heart and soul of our lineup,” Maddux said. “He’s as important to this team as anyone. He’s absolutely tough as nails.”
Walters got the scoring started in the top of the first with a one-out RBI double, driving in Kyler Caldwell. Daryl Allen would add an RBI single to put EventHelper.com up 2-0.
The Bulldogs answered with two of their own in the bottom of the first. After Jeff Nye drew a walk, he later scored on a Jeromy Hoskins base knock.
The Bulldog momentum was short lived though, as EventHelper.com drew three consecutive walks in the top of the second to load the bases. Caldwell would drive in one run with an RBI groundout and Walters followed with a two-out two-RBI single to put EventHelper.com up 5-2.
EventHelper.com would extend the lead to 6-2 in the third when Maddux helped himself out with an RBI single, driving home Robby Zydonis.
The Bulldogs responded with one in their half of the third. Jarrett Roenicke hit a two-out triple and was driven home by a Chris Friedman single.
Friedman would take the loss from the circle for the Bulldogs, but it wasn’t without a fight as the pitcher went 3-for-3 on the day.
The Bulldogs would creep even closer in the fifth when Justin Nicholson reached on a base hit and later scored on a Russell Bracket single to make the score 6-4.
EventHelper.com responded with a pair of insurance runs in the sixth inning to create an 8-4 edge.
The Bulldogs threatened in their final at bat, scoring one run and bringing the tying run to the plate, but a groundout squashed any hope of a comeback.
The playoffs get started tonight at 8 p.m. at Memorial Park when the Les Eva All-Stars face off with Gold Country Auto in the first round. Playoffs will pick up again Wednesday with back-to-back first round games starting at 6:30 p.m. at Memorial Park.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.