By ROBERT IANNACO
St. Albans Messenger Sports
SWANTON — One day after their game was rained out, the Thunderbirds jumped on the Milton Yellowjackets early for a dominating 28-0 win in a steady drizzle.
Freshman Natalee Harvey cruised to the shutout victory, giving up just two singles, striking out eight (three looking), walking 4, and hitting a batter.
Harvey settled in after a shaky first inning that saw Milton load the bases with two outs on a single, a walk and a hit batter before she caught a hitter looking at strike three to end the threat.
Her teammates made sure Harvey had a comfortable cushion to work with the next time she stepped into the circle.
The Thunderbirds sent 17 batters to the plate and scored 13 times in their half of the first, although only six runs were earned.
Milton pitcher Lilly Winterbottom got the first out on a called third strike before MVU began its barrage with a deep double by freshman Rhianna Sweeney, followed by a walk and a 2-run double by Emily Bourdeau, then a RBI single to left field by Kailie Manchester.
From there, the wheels fell off the Yellowjackets defense.
A dropped force at second base, followed three batters later by a drop at first base, allowed the T-Birds to continue their onslaught. The Thunderbirds pushed across seven unearned runs, thanks to singles by Emmery Dunphy and Sweeney, and back-to-back RBI triples by Manchester and Mae Gates.
Lilly Winterbottom (single, hit by pitch) and Emma Eaton (single, walk) each got on base twice for Milton. Khloe Adams, Laura Lazzaro, and Cody Hyldburg drew a walk each.