Phillip Miller paused for a moment Monday evening, last rays of sunlight dancing across Polk County’s softball field, and shared a small smile of relief.
It hasn’t been the easiest of seasons for the Wolverines, but a doubleheader sweep of Mitchell by scores of 16-2 and 12-3 left little to not enjoy. Polk County’s offense clicked from start to finish. The entire roster got to see playing time and contributions were to be found throughout.
Perhaps most importantly, the two wins clinched the Western Highlands Conference’s 1A playoff berth for Polk County. The Wolverines will learn their playoff fate on Saturday and will then begin postseason play next Monday, very possibly at home.
So, a good day, for certain.
“Those were two good wins to get us into the playoffs,” said Miller, the Wolverines’ head coach. “We hit the ball well, especially in the first game. And our seniors played well.”
Polk County (5-7, 4-5) got a leadoff double from Emily Prince in the opener and never stoppt hitting. The Wolverines pushed across three runs in the first, expanded the lead to 7-0 after three innings and then sent 14 batters to the plate in a nine-run fourth inning.
Nine different Polk County players had hits in the opener. Katelyn Arrowood finished 3-for-3 and scored three runs. Jessie Emory And Amberlyn Scruggs each had a 2-for-2 effort. Alana Jergenson finished 3-for-4 and scored three times. Prince finished 3-for-4 with a single, double and triple and also scored three runs. Kayleigh Wilson pinch-hit in the fourth and laced a double.
Mitchell (2-9, 0-9) pushed across two runs in the fifth for the final margin.
The Wolverines batted first in the nightcap and immediately took control of the game, scoring five runs. Jergenson, Arrowood and Emory each had doubles in the rally.
Polk added four more runs in the second, including a Jergenson triple, and were never threatened thereafter.
Jergenson finished 3-for-4, with Scruggs, Emory and Chloe Young each adding two hits.
Polk County wraps up its regular season on Wednesday, hosting Mountain Heritage.