May, Notre Dame again shut down Waverly
SOUTHPORT - For the second time in four days, Notre Dame's Olivia May proved too much for Waverly in a 3-0 win Thursday afternoon in IAC South Large School softball action.
May, who lives in Ridgebury, limited the Lady Wolverines to four hits, while striking out seven and walking none in a complete-game effort.
Waverly, which only managed one hit and struck out 15 times in a 6-0 loss to Notre Dame on Monday, had a couple of opportunities to score, but was unable to push a run across the plate against May.
"She's so tough," Notre Dame coach Steve Weber said of May. "People get on and she just bears down.
"Today, though, I thought we played really well defensively. (Waverly) looked much better today at the plate.
"They were hitting the ball hard, but we were making some solid plays behind (Olivia) and that's good to see at this time of the year," added Weber.
Robinson agreed her team looked more comfortable at the plate the second time around against May.
"They looked like a completely different team on offense.
"We couldn't even put it in play last game," said Robinson. "They were almost like a deer in headlights when they were in the box in the first game. We just hadn't seen anybody like (Olivia May) this season.
"Today, I think they had a little more confidence," added Robinson. "I couldn't ask for much more."
Overshadowed by May was the performance of Waverly sophomore Sam Mennig, who shut out Notre Dame for five innings before allowing three runs with two outs in the sixth.
"(Mennig) showed a lot of heart today," said Weber. "She's faced three tough teams in four days.
"I think she tired a little late in the game," added Weber. "We were popping everything up early. I think she slowed just enough that we were able to hit line drives in the last inning."
"Sam (Mennig) did a fantastic job," said Robinson.
Mennig allowed three runs on six hits, while striking out three and walking two in the loss.
Notre Dame threatened in the first inning on back-to-back one-out singles by Alivia Clark and Mackenzie Maloney, but Mennig retired the next two batters on fly balls to end the threat.
Waverly's biggest threat of the game came in the fourth inning when Sabrina Bowman and Sam Mennig hit hard ground-ball singles to left field to open the inning. May, however, retired the next three batters to end the inning.
Waverly also put two runners on base with two outs in the top of the fifth inning when Morgan Salsman and Kiana Manuel reached on infield errors with two outs, but May snatched a hard grounder by Bowman and threw her out at first base to end the inning.
Mennig retired eight in a row until Maloney's single up the middle with one out in the bottom of the sixth.
With two outs, Brooke Smith worked a walk, then Morgan Cox ripped a line-drive double to left field to plate Maloney with the first run of the game.
Brooke Harvey followed with a two-run double to extend the lead to 3-0.
Mennig had two of Waverly's four hits, while Bowman and Becca Morgan, who also stole a base, accounted for the other two.
Maloney led Notre Dame at the plate with two hits and Harvey had a hit and two RBI.
Despite the loss, Robinson was pleased with her team's performance.
"We played great. I have no complaints about how we played today," she said.
For Notre Dame, the win was icing on the cake in an unexpected division-winning season.
"To be perfectly honest, before the season we really didn't think it was possible," said Weber. "As coaches, you have to say this is what we're shooting for and we were working hard for it, but at the beginning of the year we were getting pounded pretty good in some of our scrimmages.
"We were just so young. It's helped having Olivia on the mound because as the year has gone on, the rest of the girls have gained confidence. From Day 1 until today, we look like a totally different ball club," added Weber.
Waverly wraps up the regular season Friday at Newark Valley. Notre Dame will play in the IAC title game on Wednesday, May 15 at Cornell.