Stuart’s RBI double backs Lobdell’s no-hitter for Region 6 champion Dragons in win over Franklin
All it takes is one.
Kelsey Stuart’s RBI double drove in Lex Nyquist in the first inning and Ellie Lobdell pitched her second no-hitter against Franklin this season in a 1-0 victory for the Region 6 champion Warren Lady Dragons on Thursday.
Lobdell struck out 13 and walked just two.
“We work really well together,” said Warren catcher Grace Wortman. “It’s just an honor to work with her because of her love of the game and her pitching.”
Lobdell, who has now struck out 28 Franklin batters in 16 innings this season, had similar things to say about her catcher.
“I love pitching for Grace and having her catch me,” she said. “She has such a big heart and love for the game.”
That love for the game is evident in the way this team plays.
Lex Nyquist, the only player to have multiple hits on the afternoon, led off the bottom of the first with a hard-hit single.
Stuart, just a freshman, followed with a drive to deep center that easily scored Nyquist.
It proved to be all the offense Warren (12-2 overall, 10-1 Region 6) needed, although they threatened in multiple inning against Franklin (6-7, 4-7) starter Gracie Stryffeler.
Julia Lobdell laid down a bunt single with two outs in the second and Nyquist followed with another single, but Stryffeler was able to induce a flyout to end the threat.
“It’s not like we weren’t hitting, we just left some runners on today,” Nyquist said.
Conversely, Lobdell faced few threats, although one of them did come in the fourth inning.
Stryffeler led off the inning with a walk, the first Franklin baserunner of the game, and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Daria Beggs. She thought about going to third, but that was her downfall. Celia Chase fired across the diamond to third baseman Kiersten Hoffman, who got the ball to Nyquist, who applied the tag on Stryffeler for a double play.
“I think that double play really sparked the energy,” Hoffman said.
Warren had a couple of more chances to push across some insurance runs, beginning in the fifth when Jordan Sitler reached on a bunt single and moved to second on Wortman’s groundout. Again, however, Stryffeler was able to work her way out of it.
In the top of the seventh, Gracie Wood doubled and went to third on a throwing error with one out, but for the final time in the game, Stryffeler left a runner stranded.
The bottom of the seventh provided a little bit of drama, as Beggs walked with one out, moved to second on a wild pitch and then, with two outs, Lobdell struck out Kaylyn Fry, but the ball squirted just a little ways away from Wortman.
The sophomore catcher recovered nicely, corralling the ball and firing a strike to Chase at first to end the game.
It was part of an excellent defensive effort for the Lady Dragons, led by Julia Lobdell’s four putouts.
The duo of Lobdell and second and Nyquist at short has been top-notch.
“Julia and I have been playing middle infield together for a long time,” Nyquist said.
“We both know exactly what the other is thinking and we have been working together for as long as we have been playing ball,” Lobdell said. “Even though I’m older, I look up to Lex in so many ways and we are just always there for each other and always know how to help.”
Next up is Mercyhurst Prep on Friday (away), followed by the regular season finale at home against Harbor Creek on Tuesday.
It’s a team that is playing with a lot of confidence right now, and it’s easy to see why.
“We’re like a family,” Nyquist said.
“We pick each other up when someone is down and just keep working together as a team,” added Wood.
And they are from done.
With the Region title checked off , the Dragons will now turn their attention to their final two regular season games before they attempt to win a District 10 championship.
“We’ve all grown with our confidence and just growing together and playing as a team,” Hoffman said. “No matter how much we want a day off our a break, we just have to keep going and working hard.”
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Stryffeler p 2-0-0-0, Beggs 1b 3-0-0-0, Lindsey 2b 3-0-0-0, Fry 3b 3-0-0-0, Herdle c 2-0-0-0, Hawke 3b 2-0-0-0, Fitzgerald cf-lf 2-0-0-0, Amster dp 2-0-0-0, Macvay lf-cf 2-0-0-0, Cunningham flex-rf 0-0-0-0, Totals 21-0-0-0
Nyquist ss 3-1-3-0, Stuart rf 3-0-1-1, Chase 1b 3-0-0-0, Hoffman 3b 3-0-0-0, E. Lobdell p 2-0-0-0, Munksgard cr 0-0-0-0, Wood cf 3-0-1-0, Sitler lf 3-0-1-0, Wortman c 3-0-0-0, J. Lobdell 2b 2-0-1-0, Totals 25-1-7-1
Franklin 000 000 0 – 0 0 1
Warren 100 000 x – 1 6 0
2B – Stuart (W), Nyquist (W), Wood (W); WP – E. Lobdell; LP – Stryffeler
Stryffeler 6 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO
Lobdell 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 13 SO
– – –
JV: Warren 15, Franklin 0
Riley Yeager and Jordan Sitler each had multiple hits, while Kiersten Hoffman had a triple and Morgan Munksgard and Yeager doubles in the win. Hoffman and Sitler had three RBI each and Yeager two.
Kelsey Stuart got the win on the mound, scattering three hits behind a solid defensive effort over four innings, with eight strikeouts.