Gosnell No Hitter, Propels Softball Over Marion

Posted on April 20, 2019 in Softball, Spring Sports

Julianne Gosnell

Sophomore Julianne Gosnell throws a no hitter vs. Marion.

BY SCOTT HUNT – shunt@chronicle-tribune.com
CONVERSE — The softball game between Marion and Oak Hill played on a chilly and very windy Friday evening proved to be a bit of a reunion.

Giants’ first-year coach Sierra Rangel, a 2015 graduate of Oak Hill, returned to her alma mater to face her former coach Ben Johnson and the Golden Eagles with a stiff northerly breeze making temperatures feel more like winter than mid-April.

And Oak Hill sophomore Julianne Gosnell had the same effect on Marion’s batters as the weather had on everyone. Just downright cold.

Gosnell struck out nine and twirled a no-hitter for Oak Hill, allowing the Giants just three base runners in the Golden Eagles’ 10-0 five inning win. It was Gosnell’s second no-hitter of the season.

“Our pitching coach (James Buckler), he’s got a good connection with the girls and he came up to me and said ‘hey, I’ve got her change up working a little better right now’,” Johnson said. “She struck at least two out on that change up tonight. It’s good we’ve got a coach that’s got a connection with them, but its nice when they’re dealing like that.

“I’m shocked, 45 degrees and when it’s windy like that, her fast ball had some rip tonight,” he added.

Marion had a scoring chance in the first after Gosnell hit leadoff batter Mia Caldwell. Lorielle Cox reached on a fielder’s choice, then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by the Eagles’ catcher, but was stranded there after Gosnell recorded her first two strikeouts. It started a streak of eight straight batters Gosnell would retire until she issued a walk to Cox leading off the fourth inning.

The Golden Eagles used three walks issued by Marion pitcher Kylae Adkins and the lone Giants error to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first without benefit of a hit, though Oak Hill left the bases loaded.

Oak Hill grabbed control of the game in the second, sending 11 batters to the plate, picking up four more walks to go with four of its five hits to score six times and build a 7-0 lead.

The Eagles would score single runs in each of the final three innings. Korinne Perkins had a pair of singles and two RBIs for Oak Hill and Kaela Robey had a RBI double. Abby Shaw also drove in run with a single while she and Jenessa Hasty each scored two runs.

Despite the score, Rangel said her team is working hard to improve and its showing in games for the Giants.

“We have plenty of room to improve and I think that’s with any team,” she said. “We did lose a few players as this season has moved on and that’s frustrating as a coach. I am happy with how defensively we’ve improved so much from the beginning. We’ve just got to get the bats swinging.”

Johnson said the Giants and Rangel had the attention of his team during pregame warm ups.

“She’s a coach. What I loved was before the game we’re watching them warm up and my girls are looking – a lot of them know her – and they’re like she’s doing a nice job. They’re dong the fundamentals, turning the hips like we do and they’re right,” Johnson said. “Marion is playing pretty good ball, the record isn’t showing it right now but they compete.

“I’ve talked with (Rangel) some … and she’s doing right thing and they’ve got some athletes,” he added. “When they get a little older and get a little more experience, Marion is going to play some good softball…. Another tough team in the county in years to come.”

When the game ended, Rangel and Johnson shared an embrace and the teams gathered around the pitching circle and prayed together.

Rangel’s work in Marion’s program is just starting and Friday’s experience on what was her home field just four years ago was another step, albeit a little emotional, in laying the foundation for the Giants.

“It’s bittersweet,” she said. “Coach J is always great. He’s always a team player and he’ll always be my coach, you know, so its bittersweet.”

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