Diamond rolls to 10th win of season

Mar. 22—DIAMOND, Mo. — Freshman Taelyn Reeder was all Diamond needed Friday evening when the Wildcats met East Newton for a softball matchup at Diamond High School. Well, Reeder and the team's defensive effort.

Reeder pitched a complete-game shutout in the run-rule-shortened contest and struck out nine batters on her way to the victory. She added a solo home run in the 12-0 win as well.

"She obviously has a really good bat. I'm hitting her at four-hole because those other three are dominant at getting on base," Diamond head coach Kelsey Parrish said.

Those three are experienced leaders Grace Frazier, Caitlyn Suhrie and Lauren Turner.

Reeder's homer came in the home half of the fourth to make it 12-0, and then she came out and finished the game in the top of the fifth allowing just one base runner.

Diamond (10-0) was ranked first in Class 2 to open the spring season. The Wildcats have two wins over second-ranked Mount Vernon already after facing the Mountaineers in two early season tournaments.

The first inning of Friday's game was quiet as the two freshmen pitchers — Reeder and East Newton's Ericka McMillen — held both offenses at bay.

The cloudy forecast mixed with strong winds made for a chilly evening but Diamond's bats warmed up and got to McMillen in the second frame with eight runs.

"I was really proud of them. We talked about being more disciplined and waiting for their pitch and driving it," Diamond head coach Kelsey Parrish said.

It started with a two-RBI single by Sara Roszell into left field to make it 2-0. Later in the inning, senior catcher Frazier dug into the right-handed batter's box with the bases loaded and drove a pitch over the fence in center field for a grand slam to make it 6-0.

"The first inning was obviously a little rough," Frazier said. "We came out in the second inning really aggressive and from there it just got better and better."

The Wildcats' bats kept going as Suhrie followed Frazier's hit by hitting one high that came down off the chain-link fence in center field for a triple. She later scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-0.

Suhrie came up just short of setting the new career home run mark of 24 with that hit. She is currently tied with Madison Bentley (2022 graduate) for the record at 23 homers.

Junior Turner turned on a pitch and hit a scorching line drive off the top of the fence in left field for a double. Turner came around to score on an error as a pop fly on the infield was dropped by the Patriots, making it 8-0.

Diamond added four runs in the fourth as Suhrie singled in Frazier, Turner singled in Suhrie and Turner crossed the plate via a wild pitch. Reeder capped the scoring with her first career home run.

"Offensively, I feel like all nine did their job today," Parrish said.

Suhrie added comments about the freshman Reeder.

"She'll be great for the Diamond program," Suhrie said. "It's great seeing her as a freshman and seeing how much she'll be able to grow to her senior season."

East Newton got a sharp double in the right-center field gap from McMillen. The ball hit the fence after a couple bounces. That was the Patriots' only hit. They also drew two walks from Reeder.

Diamond is back in action at 5 p.m. Monday against Forsyth.