Fowler tosses shutout, Polk bats heat up in win over Mitchell

Polk County's Alana Jergenson had two hits in Friday's victory over Mitchell.

A gusty pitching performance by Haley Fowler and an explosive offense proved a winning combination Friday for Polk County.

The Wolverines raced to a 10-run lead after three innings and Fowler made that lead stick as Polk County handed Mitchell a 10-0 setback in Western Highlands Conference softball action at Polk.

The win lifted Polk to a 2-1 record both overall and in conference play. More importantly, it gave the Wolverines an opening-week sweep of their 1A conference rivals, Avery and Mitchell.

“We got two huge wins this week with playoff implications,” said Polk County head coach Jamie Thompson. “We still have to play them both two more times (WHC teams are meeting three times this season), so it’s important to get these wins.

“We hit the ball better. We played some small ball and put the pressure on them. We’re continuing to improve day by day.”

A day after leaving the Wolverines’ loss to Owen after two innings due to injury, Fowler returned and pitched a complete game, striking out 10 and allowing just three hits.

“Haley Fowler did an awesome job,” Thompson said. “She’s got a groin strain, but she pushed through it. It wasn’t quite Curt Schilling-esque, but it was close.”

The Wolverines pushed across a run in the first, then exploded for five runs in the second, keyed by Maranda Gosnell’s two-run single. Karli Wood added a two-run single in the third inning to highlight a four-run effort that gave Polk its 10-0 advantage.

Batting leadoff for the first time this season, Ansley Lynch finished 4-for-4 with a triple, RBI and three runs scored. Gosnell was 2-for-3 with three RBI, with Alana Jergenson also going 2-for-3. Fowler was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Wood was 1-for-2 with two RBI.

The Wolverines complete a four-game homestand on Tuesday, hosting Mountain Heritage in another conference battle.