LYNN HAVEN — It’s a standard operating procedure not to inform a pitcher when he or she is zeroing in a no-hitter.
Mosley’s softball team followed that unwritten rule while junior Jill Johnson mowed down Crestview’s lineup Friday night. The Dolphins’ next step is actually telling their pitcher when she’s pulled off the noteworthy feat.
“Honestly? I didn’t even know until you told me,” Johnson said minutes after polishing off a no-hit performance in a 2-0 home victory over Crestview in a District 2-6A matchup. “It doesn’t mean a whole lot. I just want to have fun and get the win.”
Johnson struck out 10, posting at least one in all but the sixth inning. She struck out the side in the fourth and fifth innings, but she needed some help from her defense to help lock down the no-hitter. She said the no-hitter was her “third or fourth” at Mosley.
Brooke Wilke made a sensational diving grab to snare Parys Alexander’s line drive out of the air between first and second base in the sixth inning. Shortstop Selena Estrada made a back-handed play in the hole behind third base with one out in the seventh, and first baseman Laney Haynes scooped up Estrada’s throw to record the second out. Johnson induced a weak grounder to Wilke for the game’s final out.
Mosley was errorless in the field.
“That fires me up,” Johnson said of the defense. “Brooke does a really good job making those forehand dives. When we make plays like that, it makes me trust them even more.”
Mosley, which was playing its season opener after inclement weather postponed its previously scheduled games, broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third inning. With runners on first and second, Wilke dropped down a perfectly placed bunt and beat the throw to first. The throw sailed high and down the right-field line, allowing Haynes to score for a 1-0 lead.
The Dolphins scored an insurance run in the sixth to provide the final margin. Estrada laced a hard single to left field with one out and stole second. Johnson hit a slow roller to shortstop and hustled to first ahead of the errant throw, which Crestview first baseman Kristin Bufkin couldn’t corral. That enabled Estrada to score from third with Mosley’s second run.
“We’re going to play small ball,” Mosley coach Brian Wilke said. “If we have a runner on and no outs, if you know me you know we’re going to make you field a bunt, get our runner over and wait for a timely hit. We didn’t execute great, but we were good.”
Johnson didn’t allow a baserunner after the third inning, and the three runners who did reach for Crestview failed to advance beyond first base. The Bulldogs’ best chance to score may have been in the first inning when Johnson hit Alexander with a pitch to open the game. Alexander was called out two batters later, however, when she interfered with Brooke Wilke trying to field a ball on Taylor Rolison’s grounder. That was the only inning in which Crestview had two runners reach base.
“Jill always is a very hard worker, and she’s worked her butt off,” Brian Wilke said. “This year she’s been a little behind. She’s had some bad knees, but she put it behind her. I was a little worried about starting her in this game, but this week she was a lot better.”
Rolison kept Crestview in contention throughout the game with her performance in the pitcher’s circle. Rolison scattered six hits, struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter in six innings.
Johnson rapped out two of Mosley’s hits. Andrea McKenzie doubled, and Brooke Wilke, Estrada and Kinzie Harrington had the Dolphins’ other three hits.
Crestview 000 000 0 — 0 0 3
Mosley 001 001 x — 2 6 0
Rolison and Dardon; Johnson and McKenzie. W: Johnson. L: Rolison. 2B: McKenzie.