Mustangs Survive Late Scare
North Moore survived a seventh-inning scare to open the 2007 softball season with a 2-1 victory over visiting Eastern Randolph Monday night.
"This was our first official game," North Moore coach Sammy McNeill said. "I think it was their fourth game. To be honest with you, it feels great to win the first one. We feel real good considering we beat a real good team.
"We were nervous and our girls were nervous. We went to a scrimmage Saturday and played some very good teams and didn't hit the ball well. It felt good tonight to see the girls begin to get an eye for the ball. That's generally the last thing to come around -- the hitting."
The game was tied 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning when leadoff batter and center fielder Brandi Chandler was hit by a pitch. Second basemen Logan Monroe advanced Chandler to third with a double. Catcher Megan McNeill finished the job with an RBI grounder to second that give the Mustangs a 2-1 lead, setting up the seventh-inning dramatics.
Candace Spinks led off the seventh inning with her second triple of the game for the Eastern Randolph Wildcats. Spinks' first triple, in the fourth inning, drove in Ashton Hutcherson to tie the game.
Clutch pitching by North Moore starter Allison Braswell and sparkling glove-work by the Mustangs set down the next three batters in order to preserve the win.
Braswell fielded a comebacker and threw to first baseman Kristen Goins to record the first out. Monroe snatched a line drive out of the air at second for the second out. Shortstop Hannah Goins gathered in another smash to end the game.
"Defensively we're pretty solid," McNeill said. "The pitching was pretty good today. I've seen her (Braswell) throw better, but for the first game of the year, on a cool night, she did a real good job -- especially shutting them down in the last inning with a runner on third and no outs."
Braswell earned her first pitching win of the season with a five-hit complete game. She struck out seven and hit one batter.
Chandler and Monroe led the North Moore offense with two hits apiece.
Besides the game-winning run, Chandler was also responsible for driving in North Moore's first run with a third-inning single. Left fielder Angie Cruz scored the run after singling and advancing to second on a sacrifice. Carriker contributed a triple to the offensive output. Cleanup hitter Jasmine Covington played solid defense and hit the ball hard.
"It was nice to see us swinging the bats a little more aggressively today," McNeill said.
Elizabeth Collins, with a start in right field, and Amelia Hutchins also saw plenty of action in the game.
North Moore's next home game is tonight against Southern Alamance. The junior varsity team will play at 4:30 p.m. and the varsity game will follow at approximately 6 p.m.
R H E
Eastern Randolph 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 -- 1 5 0
North Moore 0 1 0 0 0 1 x -- 2 6 0
Burgess, Buck and Ashton Hutcherson; Braswell and McNeill. WP - Braswell (1-0)
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