Preslie Bradley had a single and two RBI in Monday's win

Score early, score often.

It’s been the recipe for many of Polk County Middle’s wins this season, and the Wolverines stayed true to that approach on Monday, downing Apple Valley 16-4 in a Blue Ridge Conference game at Polk County Recreation Complex.

Polk Middle (5-4-1) celebrated its six eighth graders, then made certain that group would mark the day with a victory, scoring in each of the four innings.

Izzy Young’s RBI single in the first opened the scoring. The Wolverines then took charge with a six-run second inning, building a 7-0 margin after two at-bats.

Mary Morrow and Amiyah Waters singled to open the second, with a error on Minda McComas’ grounder allowing Marrow and Waters to score. McComas moved to third on a passed ball and scored on Preslie Bradley’s infield grounder to make it 4-0.

A.J. Jackson and Emma Hayford laced singles before Lucy Tessnair drove a sharp single down the third-base line, driving in Jackson. Hayford and Tessnair both scored on passed balls to give Polk its seven-run advantage.

Polk Middle’s Emma Hayford slides into home following a passed ball in the second inning of Monday’s game

Apple Valley answered with four runs in the top of the third, but the Wolverines matched that total in the bottom half of the inning as Bradley had an RBI single, Hayford a run-scoring grounder, Tessnair another RBI single and Young an RBI grounder.

McComas opened the fourth with a triple, then scored on Jackson’s single to left. Hayford singled and Tessnair walked to load the bases, and Young plated two runners with her single to right. The Wolverines added two more runs in the inning to complete the scoring.

Young finished 2-for-3 with four RBI, with Tessnair going 2-for-2 with two RBI and three runs scored. Jackson added a 2-for-3 effort and scored three times, with Hayford finishing 2-for-4.

Marrow, Waters, McComas and Bradley each added a base hit, with McComas and Bradley each driving in two runs. Young and Waters each added three stolen bases as Polk had 12 steals in the game.

Hayford earned the win, giving up two hits and striking out seven with seven walks in the win.

Polk Middle returns to Polk County Recreation Complex on Tuesday, hosting Canton Middle at 4:30 p.m. for its final regular-season home game.

Polk Middle’s eighth graders, from left: Mary Morrow, Izzy Young, Amiyah Waters, Emma Hayford, Addison Queen and AJ Jackson (photo courtesy Leanne Panter)