Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Apr. 15—POTTSVILLE — Alex Bogle played an All-Star third base for Williams Valley when the Vikings won the PIAA Class A championship in 2019.

Turns out Bogle can be an All-Star behind the plate, too.

The senior catcher slugged a two-run home run in the first inning and played flawlessly in the field to lead Williams Valley to a 14-0 Schuylkill League Division II victory over Nativity on Wednesday afternoon atop Lawton’s Hill.

In the bottom of the first inning, Bogle snapped a pickoff throw to first base for the third out that ended Nativity’s only threat of the day. In the second, she sprung out of her crouch, grabbed the ball and fired to first base for an out on a swinging bunt off the bat of Caelan Quick.

“I caught in travel ball,” Bogle said. “I’ve been catching since 14U, but it was always kind of my backup position.”

After walking two in the first inning, winning pitcher Emma Crisswell settled in and retired the final 12 batters she faced. She finished with a five-inning no-hitter, striking out six and walking two.

Crisswell did not allow Nativity (5-2, 1-2 D-II) to hit a ball out of the infield. That’s because first baseman Tori Rabuck made several fine plays, picking a bat-handle foul pop just before the ball hit the turf and diving to her right to snag a line drive off the bat of Helena Polinsky.

“It feels amazing, the fact that we had off a season. We came out here ready to play,” Crisswell said. “We’re starting to get back up with everybody else. Everybody had two weeks before us. We got quarantined, but we’re getting back in the groove with everyone.”

The quarantine pushed the Vikings’ season back, then they ran into troubles with rain and a game at Bloomsburg that was postponed because Bloom would not allow Williams Valley on its artificial turf with its metal cleats.

On this day, though, everything went Williams Valley’s way.

After Bogle gave the Vikings the early lead, Williams Valley (2-0, 1-0) sent 14 batters to the plate in a 10-run, eight-hit outburst that gave them a 12-0 lead in the second inning. Two Nativity errors opened the door, and the Vikes’ bats blew the door off its hinges.

Bogle made it 4-0 with a two-run single and Crisswell followed with an RBI single. Rabuck, who went 3-for-3, laced a two-run single to center. Jade Groff and Olivia Savage had RBI singles; Gracie Ruch rapped a two-run single; and Mackenzie Carl capped the inning with an RBI double.

Lainie Shoop blasted a two-run home run in the third inning to make it 14-0.

In the game, all nine Williams Valley starters had at least one hit and one run scored.

“We’re all extremely focused,” Bogle said. “We all want to do our part, and everyone on the team is there to back each other up. The team is truly a family.”

With lots of support behind her and at the plate, Crisswell spun the ball effectively, working both sides of the plate and getting late movement to run the ball to the corners.

“Emma and I have been working together for years, so we’re very much on the same page about a lot of the pitches and the calls. We kind of have our own unspoken language when we’re out there,” Bogle said with a laugh. “She hits her spots really well. She makes it easy to catch for her. We have that connection that a pitcher and catcher need to have, and we can relay it to other people.”

With its season severely backed up, Williams Valley will be playing almost every day the rest of the way. Weather permitting, the Vikes visit Halifax today, travel to Minersville on Friday and host Upper Dauphin on Saturday.

“We’re all so happy to be back out,” Bogle said. “We really missed last season, and we were all so excited this year to get back out on the field and just be able to do our thing and have fun out there.”

Contact the writer: [email protected]; 570-628-6012: @boblipskyRH on Twitter