LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — Moore County and Forrest have grown accustomed to playing in close softball games. And typically, even during the regular season, there’s that hold-your-breath-moment, where one team capitalizes and goes on to win.
Last Wednesday, that moment came in the bottom of the fifth inning, when MCHS senior Mariah Ward took a 3-2 pitch from Forrest’s junior pitcher Samantha King and drove it 215 feet, well over the centerfield fence for a three-run home run.
The three-run blast, which drove in teammates Delaney Stevens and Emily Powell in the process, gave Moore County a 3-1 lead. The Raiderettes eventually won the contest 3-2 to pick up their second straight win over the defending Class A state champions.
The win — coupled by a 9-1 victory over Fayetteville a day later — assured the Raiderettes of the District 9-A regular season crown. Moore County (20-9 overall, 11-0 District 9-A) was slated to host Community on Monday, but the game was rained out. They were to try again on Tuesday. Results of that contest were not available at press time.
Win or lose, the Raiderettes will enter the upcoming district tournament as the No. 1 seed. Forrest will be the No. 2 seed. The District 9-A Tournament begins this week at Eagleville.
In last week’s game against Forrest (20-8, 9-2), the Raiderettes belted nine hits, including two by Ward, but none bigger than her homer in the fifth. Moore County fell behind 1-0 when the visitors plated a run in the top of the third.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Moore County finally struck. Stevens had a leadoff single, while Powell reached on an error. A sacrifice by Kasey Harvey put both in scoring position and brought up Ward.
Forrest cut the two-run deficit in half in the sixth inning. The Lady Rockets scored one run on an RBI double by Jordan Yelensky.
In the seventh, Forrest put the tying run aboard thanks to a leadoff single. But MCHS pitcher Emily Parks induced a fly ball and a pop-up to end the inning and the game. Parks, who went the distance and scattered nine hits, earned the win, while King took the loss.
Parks struck out two and walked just one.
The Raiderettes got two hits apiece from Powell and Ward, while Savannah Stevens, Kate Bowles, Abi Harvey, Bailey Frazier and Delaney Stevens had one hit each.
MCHS 9, Fayetteville 1
At Fayetteville on Thursday, April 28, Moore County scored two runs in the first inning, added single runs in the second and third and then pushed across four in the fourth inning. An insurance run in the sixth, along with 14 hits in the contest, helped the Raiderettes’ cause.
Savannah Stevens had five RBIs on three hits for the Raiderettes. She doubled in the first inning, homered in the fourth inning and singled in the sixth inning.
Kasey Harvey had three hits and Mariah Ward had two. Emily Parks, Emily Powell, Daisy Pierce, Kate Bowles, Abi Harvey and Bailey Frazier had one hit apiece.
Sophomore Abi Harvey earned the win in the circle, giving up two hits while fanning three.
—By ROBERT HOLMAN, Publisher (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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