The Diamonds scored three runs in each of the first three innings and held off a strong effort from the Wizards late to win the championship game of the Instructional League softball tournament 11-8 Tuesday night at Lakeview Park.
The Diamonds picked up at least two hits from every player on offense and got things going in the top of the first with all six batters collecting a single to help the team to a 3-0 lead.
The Wizards tied the game in the bottom half of the inning with five of its six batters collecting hits.
After the Diamonds tacked on three more runs in the second, their defense held up with pitcher Cameryn Ridderikhoff making two nice plays in the field to help hold the Wizards scoreless.
By the end of the third inning, the Diamonds led 9-5.
In the Diamonds’ fourth inning, the bases were loaded, and Nakhia Morgan hit a line drive up the middle, but Alli Yount of the Wizards was there to snag the line drive and end the half of the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Makayla Cummins singled and scored on a base hit by Holland Riddell to get the Wizards within three at 9-6.
Two important insurance runs in the Diamonds final at-bat helped give the team some breathing room.
Ridderikhoff, Hannah Dawson, Kilee McGowan and Karis Nickell each picked up their fourth hits of the game during the inning, and Riley Dawson capped things off with her fifth hit on the night.
Needing five runs to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth, the Wizards got two when Makayla Muravchick singled and came home to score. After a groundout for the second out, Caroline Gregory singled and eventually scored on a hit by Yount.
In all, the Diamonds had 25 hits. Riley Dawson tripled and hit four singles. Ridderikhoff doubled and singled three times. Hannah Dawson, Nickell and McGowan hit four singles apiece. Morgan and Hadley Hurst each singled twice.
The Wizards collected 17 hits. Gregory doubled and singled twice, and Muravchick singled three times. Molly Wooldridge doubled and singled. Yount and Marissa Adcock each singled twice. Maseyn Hedges doubled while Cummins, Riddell, Isabella Bryant and Chloe Simpson hit one single apiece.
The head coach for the Diamonds is Stephanie Dawson, and Brandon Muravchick coaches the Wizards.