WHEATLAND – Last year at this time the Lady Bulldogs were looking for a victory in their inaugural season that never came.
With a new year and a year under their belts, the team is still young and building and already picked up their fourth win of the season.
Last week the Lady Bulldogs were kept busy with a total of 7 games in two road trips and one home game.
They faced both Thunder Basin and Laramie away, and hosted Cheyenne South in Wheatland.
“We have tremendously grown our defensive play and have been able to rack up quite a few double-plays and have robbed many players of base hits with our ability to ‘hit the dirt,’” varsity skipper Jodie Fitzwater said.
In the Varsity matchups against Thunder Basin April 19, the Lady Bulldogs lost both games to the top ranked Bolts. The Lady Bulldogs struggled to put runs on the board and to contain the strong offensive hitting of the TB.
Mackenzie Lockman pitched the first game for the Bulldogs and had three strikeouts. She also led the team offensively by going 1 for 2 at bat. On Thursday, April 21, the Lady Bulldogs hosted Cheyenne South for both a JV and Varsity matchup. The game was played in such windy conditions that the JV opted to play without the short fences in the outfield.
Thursday was also Senior Night for the four Lady Bulldogs, Gracen Mount, Ashlynn Huffer, Emma McGee and Sidney Stearns. Mount was a 2-year member of the team and Huffer joined the team this year.
“Both McGee and Stearns were 2-year team members that traveled from Douglas High School each day to play,” said Fitzwater. “All four players are valuable members of the team and will be missed tremendously.”
First up was the JV game in which the Lady Bulldogs walked away with a win against South Bison by a final score of 17 to 11. Eleni McKee pitched the entire game for the Bulldogs and was credited with the win.
She had 6 strikeouts and only allowed 6 base-on-balls. The JV team was both strong defensively and offensively throughout the game, according to Fitzwater.
The Varsity squad also came out equally strong with both their offense and defense and came out on top by a score of 13-3 over the Bison Varsity team. The Lady Bulldogs pulled ahead in the fifth inning by scoring six runs and then held the line on defense.
Both Mount and McGee had RBIs in the inning. Lockman was the winning pitcher for the game, allowing only three runs on five hits, striking out three and only walking one.
The Bulldogs had 12 hits for the game with Lockman, Hunter Sission, and McGee having multiple hits. Lockman led the team offensively by going 3-for-3 at the plate while Sisson had her first “inside the park homerun” during the first inning.
To finish out the week, the Lady Bulldogs Varsity traveled to Laramie to play the Plainsmen.
“We had perhaps had some of our most exciting defensive plays of the season during their outing,” Fitzwater said. “We lost 8-0 to the Plainsmen but were not deterred by the score because compared to our first outing at the beginning of the season, there was a huge improvement in game play. We are more patient at the plate while getting more runners on base, and we played spectacular defense while holding the Plainsmen to only 9 hits.”
Lockman was again on the mound for Wheatland and had three strikeouts. Grace Battershell and Sisson each collected one hit to lead the Varsity Bulldogs offensively. Camryn Mickelsen, Eleni McKee, Rylee Coates and Sidney Stearns all made diving catches to rob Laramie of base hits.
The Lady Bulldogs will only have one matchup this week against Campbell County’s JV team Friday in Wheatland at 3:00 and 5 p.m.