Maplesville softball overcomes early deficit in win over Isabella
By Zachary Seifter/ Staff Writer
The Maplesville High School softball team defeated Isabella High School by a score of 17-5 on April 14.
Maplesville won the game despite falling into an early hole against the Mustangs. Isabella slugger Kristin Wilson bashed a grand slam to deep left-center field in the first inning, giving Isabella a 4-0 lead.
The Mustangs extended that lead to five runs in the second, but that would be all they would get as Maplesville pitcher Kaylee Cummings was superb the last three innings, allowing just four runners on base the rest of the way, giving up no runs. She also received plenty of run support from the third inning on.
The Lady Devils began chipping away at the deficit with four straight runners reaching base to start the third inning. Avery Reed brought in Maplesville’s first run with a ground ball that was misplayed by Isabella. The error allowed Emily McGee to cross the plate. RBIs by Cummings, Jaycie Armstrong and Emilee Smith cut Isabella’s lead to just one run entering the fourth inning.
In the top of the fourth, Maplesville took its first lead. Laci Cook came home on a passed ball to tie the game, and soon after Armstrong brought in Reed on a sharply hit line drive that resulted in another Isabella error. One more run would come home before the inning’s end, giving Maplesville a 7-5 advantage.
After Cummings made quick work of the Isabella lineup in the bottom of the fourth, the Lady Devils aimed to extend their lead in the fifth. They blew the whole game open, however. Nine straight batters reached base for Maplesville to start the inning. The Lady Devils amassed nine base hits in the inning and scored 10 runs to bring their lead to 17-5.
Cummings took care of the rest in the bottom of the fifth, finishing off Isabella to clinch the victory for Maplesville.
“They’re resilient,” Maplesville coach Clark Whatley said of his team after the game. “They don’t give up, they’ve got a lot of grit.”
That grit resulted in the Lady Devils totaling 17 runs in just three innings after falling behind early. 24 batters reached base in the game for Maplesville, 22 reaching off hits.
“We went from hitting lazy fly balls to hitting line drives,” Whatley said. “Waiting on the ball, hitting the right pitches, that’s it.”
Along with the excellent offensive effort from Maplesville, Cummings shut down the Isabella offense after a rough start. She threw all five innings in the win, giving up five runs off six hits with two walks and one strikeout.
Leading the way offensively for the Lady Devils were Reed, Cook and McGee. Reed went 4-for-5 in the game with two RBIs. Cook went 3-for-4 with a team-high four RBIs while crossing the plate herself three times. McGee meanwhile, went 4-for-5 with an RBI.
Madelyn Ratliff took the loss on the mound for the Mustangs. She struggled mightily against the Maplesville offense, giving up all 17 runs, 12 of which were earned, off 22 hits with two walks and zero strikeouts in five innings pitched.
Leading the way offensively for Isabella was Wilson. She went 1-for-3 in the game with four RBIs.