Mustangs win game, coin toss to host area

Published 5:53 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Isabella Mustangs put it all together when it mattered most and are regular season champions of Area 5-1A as a result.

Isabella went on the road and defeated county foe Maplesville 8-5 in a game that had plenty of ebb and flow.

“We’ve been hitting solid throughout the season, but we just haven’t always made the plays,” Isabella head coach Dustin Green said. “Today was our day.”

However, the Mustangs’ win only tied them with the Red Devils at the top of the area standings.

Both coaches met the umpire at home plate for a coin toss that served as the tiebreaker. Isabella won the toss, and the celebration ensued.

“It’s kind of a unique scenario,” Green said. “I’ve never had to do that before.”

Kristin Wilson had a standout performance at the plate by going 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

“She’s a hard-hitting batter for us, and she stepped up in a big way when we needed her to,” Green said.

After hitting six home runs a year ago, the eighth grader launched her first of 2018 against the Red Devils. It was a two-run shot in the sixth inning and could not have come at a better time, as it extended Isabella’s lead 8-3.

According to Wilson, she had a pretty good feeling that it had a chance to clear the fence as soon as she hit it.

“It was smooth,” Wilson said.

Kristin Wilson of Isabella slides home safely under the tag attempt from Maplesville’s Karley Smitherman during a game April 12. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

The Mustangs jumped out to a 3-1 lead and were threatening once again with the bases loaded and no outs in the top half of the second inning.

Starting pitcher Kaylee Wright and the Maplesville defense avoided a costly inning with three consecutive outs.

All game long Isabella found a way to respond. This included scoring three runs in the fifth inning to regain the lead after Maplesville had just tied it up at 3-all.

“We want to start peaking now that we’re toward the end of the season,” Green said.

Gracie Harrison pitched the final three innings in relief for the Red Devils. Isabella was able to establish early success against her before she could get into a rhythm.

Isabella scored three runs in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth to create enough cushion needed to hold off an attempted late-game rally by Maplesville.

Noelle Fjeldstad pitched a complete game for the Mustangs and earned the victory. She allowed just one earned run on eight hits with a pair of strikeouts.

“Noelle did a great job of keeping them off balance,” Green said. “We’re proud of her to go all seven innings.”

With the win, Isabella will host its area tournament.

“I think this year is our year,” Isabella senior Jayda Jones said.