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Good vibes all around as South racks up 11-4 win over Bartlett

by | May 16, 2024 | Cover Story, Softball

The Wolverines go crazy at home plate. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

“One, two, three, bash ‘em!” erupted from the huddle as the South Anchorage Wolverines stepped up to the plate in the third inning against the Bartlett Golden Bears on Wednesday night.

The cheer could have easily been interpreted as factual as much as aspirational – the Wolverines had already recorded seven hits and scored nine of their 11 total runs by then.

Catcher Savannah Cleland was the team’s top batter, recording hits on three of her four plate appearances, earning three runs and one RBI. Catie Newall and Carley Strempler each recorded two runs and two RBIs for the Wolverines, and Sienna Robinson (2) and Ellie Kleven (1) contributed RBIs.

Standout South pitcher Millie Wurst was strong in the circle, recording eight strikeouts, three walks and allowing the Golden Bears just three hits.

Getting the win was encouraging after Monday’s tough 14-2 loss against the first-place East T-birds, Cleland and Wurst said, and bolsters the team’s mood as the Wolverines prepare for the postseason.

“It’s kind of good to up your confidence a little for when we go to bigger, like more important games,” said Cleland.

“It’s definitely a lot better from facing tougher teams,” added Wurst. “And then coming in headstrong and having everyone positive about the team after a good win.”

South’s Millie Wurst was locked in. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

The loss didn’t spoil the vibe for the Bartlett Golden Bears as they celebrated Senior Night for their sole graduate, Lydia Taualo. Family, friends, coaches and teammates showered the senior with gifts, posters, and balloons after the final pitch.

“I love my team and I love my coaches,” said Taualo while sporting a bulky scarf of candy leis. “Even though we didn’t win, I feel like we played good. We had fun.”

The Golden Bears scored three of their four runs in the final inning, with Sarah Barnard and Taualo reaching home on an error and Amariah Loia scoring on an RBI by pitcher Tasiaeafe Matautia.

“It was like a spark,” said Matautia on the team’s late-game tear.

Along with earning the team’s lone RBI at the plate, Matautia struck out four batters and walked three.

South will face the Dimond Lynx at 7:45 p.m. Friday before a rematch with East on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Bartlett takes on the West Eagles in a double-header on Thursday and faces Chugiak at 7:45 p.m. Friday.

South 541 01 – 11 10 1
Bartlett 000 13 – 4 3 6

Bartlett’s Tasiaeafe Matautia flashes a Golden (Bear) smile. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

Story made possible by:

Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson

Nicole Johnston

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