March 28 Softball Game Recaps
Marvin Ridge 9
Porter Ridge 7
Ashlyn Roberts got the start in the circle for the virtually hot Marvin Ridge Mavericks on Saturday afternoon and she didn’t disappoint for four innings holding the strong Pirates of Porter Ridge to two hits over that span. Offensively, the Mavericks stayed hot scoring two in the first, two in the third and two in the fourth to take a 6-0 lead. Katriel Williams had two hits in that span while freshman Mikayla Smith got the start in the outfield and collected two singles over that span as well. Ally Bigham and Cam Pfister stayed hot as well adding 2 RBI’s each in the first four innings. Porter Ridge finally found its groove in the fifth plating seven runs and sending thirteen batters to the plate. Alexa Fusco, Madison Stamper and Makayla Cuthbertson all had two hits each in the innings while Lauren and Laney Love had 2 RBI’s each in the inning. Ashlyn Roberts was chased from the game and Cam Pfister came in to stop the bleeding in the fifth. With the Pirates taking the lead in the top half of the inning 7-6, the Mavericks didn’t fold. They scored one in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game on an RBI ground out by Maddy Brandow and then secured the win with a two RBI double in the bottom of the sixth by Madeleine Walker. The Pirates fell to 2-2 (0-2 virtual) while the Mavericks improved to 5-1 (3-0 virtual). The Mavericks are definitely the hottest virtual team going right now.
Hickory Ridge 3
The Independence Patriots and Coach Amanda Jardina hadn’t had too much go their way at the start of the virtual season and to top it off game number three was against conference rival Hickory Ridge. The Patriots had lost to Hickory Ridge twice already this real season in two highly competitive games. On the other hand, Hickory Ridge was playing in their first virtual game against the seasoned Patriots. The Ragin Bulls didn’t seem to miss a beat in the bottom of the first scoring two runs on a single by hot hitting Gracie Parker and a two run homer by Kylie LaRousa. Independence tied the game up in the top of the third on a Jaylin Adkins lead off double followed by a Midori Walku single then a Mackenzie Grant double. Scoreless from that point through the sixth with masterful pitching from Gracie Parker and Jaylin Adkins, the game came down to the seventh. Emma Wrenn singled to left to lead off the top of the seventh for the Patriots and Maya Douglas forced a 10 pitch walk. Mallory Shaver then took an outside pitch opposite field just hitting the right field line for a double scoring Wrenn and Douglas to take the 4-2 lead. The Ragin Bulls weren’t done. In the bottom half of the inning, Alycea Gilliam and Payton Lautz both singled and were sacrificed to second and third by Kasey Spease. Emily Barnes and Jaydn Jonasse both walked bringing the game to 4-3 Indy with only one out. Things looked promising for Hickory Ridge with lefty slapper Rachel Herzig up to the plate. Rachel swinging away on the first pitch hit a rocket right on the third base line and out of nowhere, Indy third baseman Maya Douglas dove to her right, snagged the line drive and fell on the third base bag for the double play to end the inning and grab Indy their first virtual win of the season. Independence moved to 3-4-1 (1-2 virtual) while Hickory Ridge took their first loss of the season and is now 4-1 (0-1 virtual).
Lake Norman 5
Two top teams from different counties squared off Saturday in a classic. Lake Norman had something to prove after falling in heartbreaking fashion on Friday night and Coach Tommy Strahan had them ready right out of the gate. Using a small ball tactic early, Lake Norman surprised the Rebels defense and putting up three early runs in the top of the first. Linda Moore and Sammy Ladowski both laid down perfect drag bunts to get the early rally started. Hannah Rongo moved the runners to second and third with a ground out to second and then the Knights squeezed twice in a row with Amy Meister and Carly Christopher. The 2-0 lead was a good cushion for Linda Moore in the circle until the Rebels finally broke through with two in the fourth and two in the fifth. Madison Roland and Cassidy Vance both singled in the fourth and were driven in on a Natalie Ruth double. In the fifth, Nikki Tuttle led off with a walk, was pinch run for by Anna Laney and scored on a Jenna Whelan two run homer to give the Rebels the 4-2 lead. In the sixth, Lake Norman plated two runs to tie the game at four. Ashley Skipper and Katie Mitchell both scored on a Zoe Watson single. In the seventh, Lake Norman returned to small ball. Sammy Ladowski bunted for a single, was sacrificed to second by Hannah Rongo and scored on a Carly Christopher single. Linda Moore was able to get the Rebels one, two three in the bottom half of the innings to preserve the win. Lake Norman improved to 4-1 (1-1 virtual) while Parkwood lost its first game of the season and is 5-1 (1-1 virtual).
Charlotte Catholic 2
Charlotte Christian 1
Charlotte Christian and Kevin Hinde returned to the diamond after the exciting Opening Game of the 2020 Charlotte Virtual Softball League and this time the Knights were travelling to Pineville to play Charlotte Catholic. Coach Kathleen Murphy’s young Cougar team was ready for the challenge. This one was a pitchers duel from the get go. Wynne Gore held Charlotte Catholic scoreless through five while Catholic also shut down Christian, although Christian had runners in scoring position four of the first five innings. The inability to get anything out of those early scoring opportunities would prove costly for the Knights. In the bottom of the sixth, Charlotte Catholic loaded the bases with two outs and Sydney Bowman came through with a clutch single to score MC Devanney and Tess Mulligan. Not to be outdone, Charlotte Christian rose to the challenge in the top of the seventh. A base hit by MC Eaton and walks to Susan Donnelly and Mary Francis Cypert loaded the bases with one out. An infield single off the end of the bat for Laila Robinson plated Eaton and the Knights cut the lead to 2-1. Right fielder Josie Bishop then lifted a fly ball to shallow center field and Susan Donnelly tagged up to score. The visiting Knights crowd went crazy and then the unthinkable happened. Coach Murphy came out, appealed that the runner left early from third and the virtual umpire agreed. Out number three, run off the board and the final score was Catholic 2, Christian 1. Although the virtual reporters at this one didn’t agree with the call at all, Coach Hinde and his classy team took it all in stride and knew that the tables would turn in the future. Charlotte Catholic improved to 2-1 (1-0 virtual) while Charlotte Christian fell to 1-3 (0-2 virtual).
Myers Park 6
Central Cabarrus 5 (8 innings)
The marquee matchup of Saturday featured two teams that both came in 6-0 on the young season. The young Central Cabarrus group led by the superior pitching of Brantleigh Parrott and the veteran squad of Myers Park featuring five seniors leading the way. Green on Green. And this one didn’t disappoint. The slow starting Mustangs again let the opponent capitalize early. Four straight singles by Kasey Lee, Hailey Salter, Elyssa Bost and Suzie Workman plated two runs in the second before Lacie Couble doubled in two more later in the inning for a 4-0 Viking lead. That score held until the bottom of the fifth when the Mustangs finally got to Parrott. Parrott, who had eight strikeouts through four innings, gave up lead off double Alina Atzor and consecutive singles to Madi Lojko and Whittney Barringer scoring one. Evy Oxendine followed with a single of her own cutting the lead to 4-2 still with runners at first and second with one out. Whitney Formon drew an 11 pitch walk (fouled off 8 straight nasty Parrot pitches) when Ashly Syzmonski came up with a clutch two out bases clearing double to score all three for a 5-4 Mustang lead. After a scoreless sixth, the Mustangs only needed three outs to secure the hard fought victory. Central Cabarrus said not so fast. Aniyah Tate doubled with two outs and Brantleigh Parrott singled in the right field gap to score Tate. Or did Tate score? Parrott was thrown out at second trying to stretch the single to a double to record the third out. After the virtual umpires got together and discussed the play for over five minutes on the request of Coach Kory Formon, the play stood and off to the bottom of the seventh. Parrott struck out the side in the seventh as did Mustang pitcher Madi Lojko in the top of the eighth. Leading off the bottom of the eighth, Madi Lojko reached on a bang bang infield single and then was sacrificed to second by Whittney Barringer. The first pitch to power hitting Evy Oxendine barely got away from the Viking catcher to allow Lojko to reach third on another bang bang play. With a 3-2 count and another double digit pitch at bat, Formon called for the two strike squeeze. Oxendine got a great bunt down, Parrott was able to glove flip to catcher Christina Brendle but the speed and heads up slide of Lojko was too much. The Mustangs stay undefeated in a Classic. These two teams left it all out on the field. The Mustangs improved to 7-0 (2-0 virtual) and Central Cabarrus is now 6-1 (1-1 virtual).