VHS softball tastes victory

Published 5:25 pm Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Verbena Red Devils enjoyed softball success for the first time in 2018 with a 9-8 victory at home against Maplesville April 17.

Verbena led 9-5 heading into the seventh inning but had to stave off a furious comeback attempt by Maplesville.

Jenae Pierce pitched a complete game for Verbena and stood strong after Maplesville scored a pair of runs before an out was registered on the scoreboard.

“It was a relief to know that we did it,” Pierce said. “I’m going to go get a Sonic ice cream after this.”

Katie Payton got things going for Maplesville in the seventh with a leadoff single. Emily McGee followed it up with an RBI single to left field later in the inning.

However, Maplesville fell one run shy of tying it up after a groundout to the pitcher ended the game.

It was the first time this season that Verbena was ecstatic to see the game’s final out, because they were the team out in front.

“It feels like the team is just sitting on your shoulders as a pitcher,” Pierce said. “As soon as I saw them laying down the bunt I knew I had to get it.”

It was a tough start to the season for Verbena, which had lost all 11 of its games played prior to its matchup with Maplesville.

“When you work as a team, that’s how you get dubs (wins),” Verbena’s Madison Kelley said.

Things were looking good from the start, as Verbena scored four runs in the first inning and built a comfortable 9-3 lead through five innings.

It was not the first time Verbena had been in a position to win, but finishing games is something that has been a work in progress throughout the season.

Madison Kelley helped Verbena establish its lead with a home run to centerfield, which was part of a big third inning that also included a two-run double by Madison Bryant.

It was Kelley’s second home run of the season.

“I walked up to the plate, took a deep breath and it went,” Kelley said. “I had a pretty good feeling it was going out. If you’ve hit one before, it feels the same every time.”

Verbena has its sights set on continuing their winning ways as the area tournament looms.

Despite the valiant effort, Maplesville dropped to a record of 12-12 with the loss.