Power Display

Dibble, Burk Lead Big Day At The Plate For Southwestern

Frewsburg’s Mackenzie Munson is tagged out at the plate by Southwestern’s Katie Brinkley during Wednesday’s non-league softball game at the Robert H. Jackson Sports Complex in Frewsburg. P-J photo by Valory S. Isaacson

FREWSBURG — Southwestern continued its solid start to the season Wednesday against Frewsburg in a non-league matchup.

Behind another complete game in the circle from Sydney Burk and an inside-the-park home run, a triple and three RBIs from Alanna Dibble, the Lady Trojans downed the Lady Bears, 8-2, at the Robert H. Jackson Sports Complex and improved to 3-1 on the young season.

Quite frankly, thing’s couldn’t have gotten off to a much better start for Southwestern.

The first batter of the game, shortstop Erin Radack, ripped a base hit up the middle and the ball got past a member of the Frewsburg outfield, allowing Radack to come all the way around the bases and score the first run of the game.

In what seemed like the blink of an eye, the Lady Trojans had a lead and didn’t look back from there.

Frewsburg’s Claire Garvey stretches for the out at first base before Southwestern’s Erin Radack steps on the bag during Wednesday’s non-league softball game at the Robert H. Jackson Sports Complex in Frewsburg. P-J photo by Valory S. Isaacson

“It’s awesome,” Southwestern head coach Jennifer Anderson said when asked about her team’s statement early in the contest. “Typically, we are a later-inning team. And we did come out early. Not just that, but I think in the third inning, we scored a few more. They were just swinging the bat well today.”

For Frewsburg, the inauspicious start led to an uphill battle against the talented Burk in the circle.

“I think we came out flat and it showed on the very first batter of the game,” Frewsburg coach Jon Blanchard stressed. “If you’re not doing what you need to do pregame and in warmups, sometimes that really plays over into the game. And I felt like that first at-bat kind of set the tone for what we did the first two or three innings. … We didn’t come to play unfortunately.”

When all was said and done, Burk struck out 12 Lady Bears and only surrendered two hits in her seven innings of work.

The stellar performance came just one day after another complete-game effort against Silver Creek, where the senior right-hander only gave up three hits to help lead Southwestern to a win.

“She’s just the whole package,” Anderson said of Burk. “She understands the game well, she’s been a pleasure to work with. … She just takes control, it’s priceless to have someone like that.”

Burk helped herself at the plate in the top of the third, when she scorched a two-run triple down the left field line that scored Hadyn Swan-Leuze and Katie Brinkley.

Later in that same frame, Burk crossed the plate on a pitch that got past the Frewsburg catcher and Dibble topped off the scoring with her run-scoring triple to extend the Southwestern lead to 5-0.

Dibble then added a booming shot over the center fielder’s head in the top of the fifth, which not only scored Burk, who reached base again after being hit by a pitch, but Dibble raced home as well.

The home run from Dibble extended the Lady Trojans’ lead at the time to 7-2 and the final Southwestern run came courtesy of an RBI groundout from Brinkley in the sixth.

“It was great,” Anderson explained. “Anytime you can put together a good game at the plate. … We only had five hits (Tuesday night against Silver Creek). We’ve only had four or five hits in some of the other games. It was great to see them come together. I don’t know how many hits we had today, but we had quite a few.”

Frewsburg’s lone offense came in the bottom of the fourth, when Ayla Bragg launched an inside-the-park home run that also scored Olivia Lynn.

“You’ve got to have those one or two innings where you can put something together,” Blanchard emphasized. “We put pressure on them a few times, but we didn’t do what we needed to do. But give it to Sydney (Burk), she threw a good game. … She did a nice job of controlling the game.”

MaKena Adams tossed a complete game in the circle in defeat and struck out five. Mackenzie Munson recorded the other Frewsburg hit at the plate.

The Lady Bears will look to bounce back Friday in a CCAA Division 2 East matchup against Franklinville.

“Hopefully we can take and learn from what we did today and gain some momentum and start on the right foot on Friday,” Blanchard stated. “I teach and preach momentum all the time. What it takes to get momentum and what they need to do to grab momentum and make it happen. If you just wait for it to happen, it’s not going to happen. You’ve got to figure out a way to make momentum happen.”

Southwestern will look to keep rolling today against Jamestown.

“They keep clawing at it and that’s what they’ve been doing all season,” Anderson said. “Even our first game where we lost (to Franklinville), it was seventh inning, we were still trying to do it and we hadn’t given up. And that’s what these girls do. They don’t give up. They keep plugging away…and do the best that they can all the time.”

NOTES: Swan-Leuze and Kayla Conway also picked up hits in the win for Southwestern.