By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

BUFFALO – The Elkhart Lady Elks travelled to Buffalo last Tuesday, March 20 to take on the Buffalo Lady Bison in a District 18-3A softball matchup. The Lady Elks were looking to keep pace with the Frankston Maidens in league play and did exactly that as they blasted the Lady Bison by a final score of 12-2.

After a quiet first inning, the Lady Elks offense got rolling. Allie Hays led off the top of the second with a grounder into left field. It looked like she might be stranded there after Ashlyn Mattern and Gracie Johnson both flew out.

Hays, however, had other ideas as she stole second on 2-0 pitch to Makayla Walker. Walker followed the steal up with a liner into left to drive in Hays and give Elkhart an early 1-0 lead.

The Lady Bison bounced back to take the lead in their half of the second. Makenzie Barnes drew a walk off of Elkhart pitcher Rylee Reeves while Taylor Lack was hit by a pitch to give the Lady Bison runners at first and second with no outs.

Reeves got Shalyn Cotton to foul out, but Makenzie Simpson came through for Buffalo with a single to plate both Barnes and Lack. Reeves limited the damage three pitches later when she forced Taylor Farris to line out to Mollie Ormand at first. Ormand caught the ball on the fly and stepped on the bag to double up Simpson and end the inning.

That was all she wrote for the Lady Bison as Ormand stole home to tie the game and then Gracie Johnson drove in Hays from second with a single into left to give the Lady Elks a 3-2 lead.

The Lady Elks added two more in the top of the fourth as Jaci Jordan doubled down the third base line and was followed by a double from Reeves.

Jordan crossed the plate when Holly Crouch grounded out on a slow roller to first while Reeves crossed the dish on a Macie Gonzales single. Reeves’ run gave the Lady Elks a commanding 5-2 lead as the game began to slowly slip away from the Lady Bison.

The Lady Elks added another two runs in the fifth, a single run in the sixth and then exploded for four runs in the top of the seventh to put the game out of reach and give Elkhart the 12-2 win.

Rylee Reeves picked up the win with 2.2 innings of work. She gave up two runs on two hits, walked two and struck out two. Gracie Johnson pitched 4.1 innings of relief and gave up one hit and recorded four Ks.

Buffalo’s Iris Valles took the loss. She pitched seven innings, gave up 12 runs on 18 hits, walked five and struck out two.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.