MHS overcomes late inning disaster

Published 8:39 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Reach for it: Maplesville catcher Courtney Baugh snags a pop fly in foul territory during Tuesday’s game. The Red Devils won in extra innings.

Ahead by five runs going into the seventh inning, Maplesville appeared to have Tuesday’s softball game in the bag.

Then, disaster struck.

Verbena scored seven runs on six hits and four errors in the inning to take its first lead of the game since the top of the first inning; however, Maplesville still won, 13-12, in eight innings.

Courtney Killingsworth was effective as the starting pitcher for the hosts until the seventh, when she wasn’t helped by her defense.

Autumn Smith pitched a scoreless eighth inning for MHS and earned the win.

Smith struck out a Verbena with bases loaded to give her team a chance to win the game in the bottom of the frame, and the Red Devils did just that.

Kiana Andrews led off with a single, advanced on a single by Madeline Anderson and scored when Alisha Blackman put the ball in play.

Verbena scored first, in the top of the first inning, when Chanin Hancock’s double scored Mattie Cleckler.

But back-to-back run scoring singles by Courtney Baugh and Smith helped Maplesville to three runs in the bottom of the first, and the Devils stretched the lead to 6-1 on fourth inning RBI hits by Morgan Little and Smith.

Verbena cut the lead to 6-5 in the top of the fifth. Two MHS errors helped, but two runs crossed the plate following a single by Victoria Fletcher.

The hosts scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth to seemingly put the game away.

Three Verbena runs had already scored when a turning point in the game occurred. VHS had the bases loaded, and what should have been a harmless ground ball off the bat of Krista Lane turned into a nightmare.

At least three Maplesville throwing errors later, all the Verbena baserunners—including Lane—had crossed home plate, and the guests had the lead.

But with two outs and runners on third and second in the bottom of the seventh, Smith managed a base hit to give her team new life.

Hancock was the losing pitcher.

Fletcher went 3-for-5 at the plate with a run scored and two runs batted in.

Smith went 3-for-4 with four RBI, and Andrews went 4-for-5 with two runs and one RBI.

Both Natalie Arnold and Little went 3-for-5 for MHS.