BHS Softball Moves On
Layman’s Three RBIs Help Propel Broadway Past Western, 9-5
BROADWAY — In two matchups with the Fort Defiance High School softball team this season, Broadway and second baseman Alex Layman have yet to score a run against James Madison-bound pitcher Megan Good.
The up-and-coming Gobblers will get another crack at Fort on Wednesday, and Layman is a big part of the reason why.
The junior went 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs Monday, and third-seeded Broadway held on to defeat Western Albemarle 9-5 in a Conference 29 quarterfinal game.
“We definitely want to see her again. Megan’s a good pitcher, but we want to hit off her,” said Layman, whose team (13-7) will travel to face the second-seeded Indians. “And that’s our goal: to get better. We’ve hit off her more and more each time, and we’re hoping to hit off of her good next time, too.”
The final score from Monday’s win was somewhat deceiving, as Broadway led by eight runs going into the fifth inning. Layman contributed scoring singles in both the first and fourth innings, the latter of which extended BHS’s advantage to 7-1, to build a comfortable cushion for starting pitcher Shayna Driver.
The senior reached the 100-strikeout plateau for the season by fanning nine Warriors batters, but had to return to the circle over the final two innings to close out the victory after seldom-used freshman reliever Ally Repko ran into control problems.
“You can never take any game for granted,” said Driver, who scattered five hits and one earned run over six innings. “If you’re up 9-1, that can change. Quickly, as we all saw in the game tonight. So you just always have to be prepared and try your hardest at all times.”
Senior catcher Chloe Shrock added Broadway’s other multi-hit performance, going 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a double.
On a day where temperatures hit the upper 80s, Driver admitted she struggled with the heat, saying, “I was just about ready to fall over.”
Even so, BHS coach Becky Cantrell had no problem going back to her steady hurler when Western loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth despite failing to record a single hit.
For her part, Driver struck out two of the four batters she faced and limited the damage in the frame to a pair of runs. She then retired the side in order in the seventh to clinch Broadway’s semifinal berth.
“She’s not a power pitcher; she’s a finesse pitcher,” Cantrell said of Driver. “She didn’t have her best stuff starting out the game, and we got comfortable with the lead. We thought we’d bring Repko in a little bit, so we got the bases loaded and we went right back to [Driver]. And pressure situation, she responded.”
Western (4-12), the tournament’s sixth seed, was playing without manager Mia Fields, who was in Florida to attend her father’s funeral. Assistant coach Carroll Bickers filled in during her absence.
“Our youth sometimes bites us a little bit,” said Bickers, whose team finished with four errors. “But I will say for our kids, they don’t give up. They keep hustling and they’re trying. [Broadway] played better than us today.”
Western 001 022 0 – 5 5 4
Broadway 230 400 x – 9 9 0
Belling, Madison (5) and As. Sipe; Driver, Repko (5), Driver (6) and Shrock. W – Driver. L – Belling.