N.M Softball Beats Pinecrest In Extras
Entering the seventh inning and trailing homestanding Pinecrest 6-3, North Moore’s Tony Martin challenged his softball team.
The first-year coach sternly told his players they needed to stop arguing with one another and start playing for each other.
“We needed something special to happen,” Martin said after the game, “and we got it and then built on it.”
The Mustangs scored three runs in the seventh and four more in the eighth to escape with a 10-6 victory over the Patriots in the regular season opener for both schools.
After Shannon Scott, Ivey McNeill and Shania Beck delivered RBI hits to tie the score 6-all in the top of seventh, the Mustangs retired the Patriots in order to send the game into extra innings. In the eighth, the Mustangs scored four times without the benefit of a hit to secure the win.
With one on and two outs the Mustangs loaded the bases on walks. The first run scored on a fielding error. Two runners scored on dropped ball at first base on a fielder’s choice grounder and the final run crossed the plate on a throwing error.
The Patriots, who played error-free through the first six innings, committed four errors in the final two innings.
“I think we played well for all the ups and downs,” said first-year Patriots head coach Lynsey Manki. “And they know they played well, it was just a couple of errors that hurt us and we’ll fix that in practice on Monday.”
The half inning prior the Patriots had seemingly taken control of the seesaw game with a big inning of their own.
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom sixth, the Patriots struck for four runs. After back-to-back singles and a throwing error put runners on second and third with no outs, Lizzie Smith drove in the tying run when she reached base on a fielder’s choice grounder. Two more runs scored on errors and then Bobbie McDaniel’s single delivered Devin Lally.
The inning could have been bigger for the Patriots, but Amber Huff was called out at home when she tried to score from second on Lally’s hit.
A pop out and a fly out ended the inning, stranding Patriot runners at second and third.
“We showed our youth at times tonight,” Martin said. “We’ve got a lot of coming together to do but the last three innings really showed how good we can play.”
And while the offense for both teams woke up late, pitching and defense dominated early.
Pinecrest’s freshman hurler Bobbie McDaniel, who pitched a complete game, blanked the Mustangs through four innings, allowing five hits and no walks while striking out four.
She was matched by Mustang hurler Ashley Davis who allowed one run on two hits and a walk while striking out seven through four innings. She earned the win pitching a complete game, allowing six runs — two earned — and striking out eight.
Lindsay Parkin’s RBI single in the first gave the Patriots the early 1-0 lead.
The Mustangs took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when Caroline Childers scored on a passed ball and Julie Williams drove in the go-ahead run with a ground out.
Pinecrest answered in its next at bat, tying the score at 2-all on and RBI single by Rae Nunez.
Davis put the Mustangs back on top, 3-2, in the sixth when she drove in Childers with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Heather Donmyer led the Mustang attack with a double and two singles in five at bats. Holly Green, Caroline Childers and Katelyn Sheffield had two hits each for the Mustangs, who also stole nine bases.
Olivia Cioccolanti and McDaniel each had two hits for the Patriots.
Both teams return to action at 5 p.m. Tuesday when the Mustangs host Yadkin Valley Conference foe East Montgomery and the Patriots play at Union Pines.
Contact Tom Embrey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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