Polk County’s softball team finally returned home Monday – and found the familiar and friendly confines much to their liking.
Western Highlands Conference co-leader Owen still left the PCHS campus with a 10-2 victory over the Wolverines, but it was the proverbial result that did not reflect the quality of the effort that Polk County delivered.
The Wolverines (2-7, 1-5), who played seven of their first eight games on the road, led for the first four innings, an advantage preserved by excellent infield defense and solid pitching from sophomore Amberlyn Scruggs.
Owen (5-2, 5-1), though, put together a five-run fifth inning to take its first lead, then padded that margin with two runs in each of the final two frames to secure the win.
An unassisted double play by third baseman Kaylin Jenkins stopped an Owen rally in the first inning, and the Wolverines built on that momentum in their first at-bat. Emily Prince singled, stole second, moved to third on a Scruggs infield grounder and then scored on a wild pitch to give Polk a 1-0 lead.
Senior Alana Jergenson followed with a solo home run to left-center field, a high drive that easily cleared the fence to give the Wolverines a 2-0 advantage.
That would be all the scoring for Polk, though, as Owen pitcher Addison Bartlett settled down and kept the Wolverines from mounting a scoring threat for the rest of the day. Bartlett allowed just four hits and struck out nine in claiming the win.
The Wolverines are at home for their final four games, with the next three the most important. With the WHC’s automatic berth to the 1A playoffs still very much up for grabs, Polk County hosts Avery on Wednesday and then has a doubleheader with Mitchell next Monday, with those three games likely to determine who claims that postseason opportunity.