GROVE - The Grove Lady Ridgerunners got their 2011 softball season off to a strong start Tuesday, getting six shutout innings from starting pitcher Jessie Walker and a two-run home run from third baseman Taylor Dodson as they rolled to an 8-0 win over Claremore Sequoyah.
Walker, mixing a fastball and a changeup to keep the Lady Eagles off balance, struck out 10 and allowed only three base runners in Grove's season opener at the Grand Lake Softball Festival.
Dodson broke the game open with her shot to right centerfield in the bottom of the third to put the Lady Ridgerunners up 3-0. Senior first baseman Andrea Gonzalez, who drove in the game's first run with a sacrifice fly in the first inning, scored on Dodson's homer.
Walker, meanwhile, was perfect through the first three innings before the first Lady Eagle batter reached base on a bunt with one out in the fourth inning.
Grove put the game away with a four-run fourth inning in which they didn't get a hit, using an error, three hit batsmen and a pair of walks. Gonzalez, Dodson, Mason Jeffries and Katelyn Smith all drove in runs by either drawing a base on balls or being hit by a pitch.
The Lady Eagles's only threat came in the fifth inning. Sidney Bloom reached base on one-out single. An error on a grounder by Hunter Thompson with two outs put runners on second and third with two outs before Walker was also to strike out the next batter to end the inning.
In the day's other games the Vinita Hornets beat Grove's JV squad 9-3 before falling to Claremore Sequoyah 11-6.
With rain moving into the area this morning it is not known yet if today's games will be played. Wednesday's schedule has the Kansas Lady Comets taking on Grove's JV team at 10 a.m., followed by Kansas taking on Collinsville. Collinsville will then take on Bixby in the third game of the day before Bixby and Grove play in the final game of the Festival.