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Softball: Lions shut out No. 4 Liberty

St. Helens gets another one-hitter from Mariah Mulcahy as the Lions down No. 4 Liberty 3-0


by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - St. Helens' first baseman Taylor Leal scored the go-ahead RBI for the Lions in the first inning and was batted home by Mariah Mulcahy's home run moments later. St. Helens beat the Liberty  Falcons 3-0 on May 6, solidifying their hold on first place in the league standings.Whatever they're feeding Mariah Mulcahy in St. Helens, it appears to be working. She's struck out at least 10 batters in each of the last six games, all league victories, and has continued her hot streak at the plate.

On Tuesday, Mulcahy struck out 10 more, giving up just one hit as the Lions beat No. 4 Liberty 3-0 and jumped further ahead in the race for the NWOC title.

She also hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first, scoring the second and third runs for the St. Helens with time running out in the period.

Leadoff Stevie Strawn and Ashley Gesibers were each put out, leaving the Lions with no runners on base and few chances to get on the scoreboard. Then Michelle Sass ripped a double to center field with cleanup hitter Taylor Leal up to bat. Sass stole third moments later, and Leal delivered, sending a hard ground ball to left field and scoring Sass to give the home team a narrow edge.

But the Lions weren't finished. Now it was Mulcahy's turn, and with two strikes and two outs, she hit a pitch over the left field fence and put St. Helens firmly in control.

The rest of the way, it was all pitching. The Lions picked up a base hit in each of the second and third innings and made contact on each at-bat in the fourth, but couldn't make a run.

Liberty, one of the top-five offensive teams in the state, finally saw their chance in the top of the fifth. With one out, Sophia Coalwell hit a hard grounder between first and second and looked like an easy out at first base, but reached when the toss to first base went awry. A few minutes later, after Mulcahy routinely struck out Liberty's Riley Driscoll, the Falcons got another runner on base. This time, it was Kelsey Dramm's grounder to third base that caused problems. The Lions couldn't quite make the play at first, putting two Falcons on base for the first time in the game.

The rally was short lived, as Leal got under a fly ball at first base to shut down the Falcon runners and the visitors' lone hit in the sixth wasn't nearly enough to spark a comeback as the Lions held on for their sixth win in a row and eighth in their last nine game.

Up next, St. Helens has a particularly big contest: a rematch with Sandy, the only team to beat St. Helens in league play. A win over the first-ranked Pioneers on Thursday, May 8 would give St. Helens a massive boost as they look to stay ahead of Rex Putnam in the fight for the league title. First pitch between St. Helens and No. 1 Sandy will be at 5 p.m.

SUMMARY

St. Helens 3, Liberty 0

St. Helens High School

LIBE 000 000 0 – 1 0 1

STHE 300 000 x – 3 8 3

St. Helens

Hits (8): Strawn, Sass, Leal 2, Mulcahy 2, Alyssa Geisbers, Fischer

RBIs (3): Leal, Mulcahy 2

HR (1): Mulcahy

Runs (3): Sass, Leal, Mulcahy