Wolverine softballers accomplish goal with key opening win

Polk County's Ashley Scruggs struck out six in Wednesday's win over Avery.

Mission accomplished.

That’s the view that Polk County softball coach Jeff Wilson took of Wednesday’s home, conference and season opener with Avery, a debut that ended in a 6-3 victory for the Wolverines.

Polk County (1-0, 1-0) rallied from a 2-1 deficit with a four-run fourth inning en route to a welcome win after a combination of winter weather and basketball success made preseason practice time a luxury.

“I told the girls our goal for today was very simple, just be good enough to win,” Wilson said. “We don’t have a lot of things in yet. We’ve had one outside practice with our basketball girls, and that wasn’t on our field. But a lot of people are in that situation, I guess.

“We accomplished our mission today.”

Three walks and a wild pitch gave Polk County its first run in the fourth, and Maddy Foy’s single kept the bases loaded with no outs. After a strikeout, Hayley Kropp and Haley Fowler lined back-to-back singles to each drive in a run before Autumn Owen was hit by a pitch to force in another, giving Polk a 5-2 lead.

Avery added a run in the top of the fifth before Foy drove home Alexis McCraw in the bottom of the inning on an infield grounder.

Polk County took a 1-0 lead in the third as Kassidy Reynolds doubled and scored on a Fowler single.

Ashley Scruggs scattered five hits and struck out six to earn the win. Polk played well defensively, highlighted by Ashley Ponder’s diving catch of a popup in front of Avery’s dugout in the seventh inning.

“I thought Ashley Kropp played really well behind the plate,” Wilson said. “Maranda Gosnell had a big double play for us at second base. I felt like our outfield played really well.

“We needed to win this game.”

Hayley Kropp and Fowler each had two hits for Polk. Foy, McCraw and Reynolds added hits, with McCraw stealing two bases.

“I want to thank my assistant coaches for all their help,” Wilson said of Phillip Miller, Danielle Dinardo, Doug Leonard and Jerry Hensley. “I appreciate them and how hard they have been working.”

Polk County is scheduled to be back in action on Monday, hosting Tuscola.