SB: Field at Waltonville
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WALTONVILLE – Field had just given up the lead to Waltonville when Monday’s Junior High softball game was delayed due to lightning.
After about an hour the game was picked back up. The Panthers trailed 7-6 but outscored Waltonville in the final two innings to win, 14-8.
The 8-1 advantage in the sixth and seventh innings helped Field stay undefeated at 5-0.
“Right before we went back out there, I wasn’t very happy with the way we were playing,” said Field head coach Brandon Childers. “I thought we looked lazy and was taking them lightly. I tried to get them wound up so I was happy they came out and squared some balls up.”
Before the delay, Jaiden Ellis tied the game for Waltonville with a two-RBI triple. She then scored on a wild pitch to put the Jr. Spartans on top, 7-6. Then the lightning came.
“I think our experience, and I don’t like to use that as an excuse but we don’t have much experience in a one-lead ball game,” said Waltonville coach Colene Stanley. “I think, not buckling down when we needed to [and] not being able to handle the pressure kind of made everything snowball.”
Field finished with 17 hits in the game with 12 coming from the top four of the order.
The sixth inning started out with Lilli Morgan pinch hitting at the No. 9 spot for Faith Hayes. Morgan singled to left field and Hayes re-entered to run for her at first base.
Morgan was the first of five straight batters to reach for Field. Kodie VanEycke doubled and advanced Hayes to third. Ashtyn Childers followed with a two-RBI single up the middle to give the Panthers back the lead.
After Childers moved to second on an error and advancing to third on a throwing error allowing Aliya Williams to reach, Kileigh Irwin drove in Childers to make it, 9-6.
“The top of the lineup has really been squaring it up the past three games,” said Childers. “I thought we squared some balls up, with more from the top of our lineup.”
Later in the inning, Kaycee Meyer’s bunt allowed Williams to score and Raegan Melvin picked up a RBI when Irwin scored on her ground ball out to extend the Panthers’ lead to 11-7.
“They kept us on our toes because they’d hit and then they’d bunt,” said Stanley. “Being able to bunt confuses your defense, which it should. That’s why you do it. They did a good job of putting their bunts down when they were supposed to and getting hits when they were supposed to.”
Field added three runs in the seventh before finishing it off after allowing Waltonville to score once in the seventh.
For Field VanEycke was 4-for-4 with five runs scored. Childers was 4-for-5 with four RBI and three runs scored. Williams finished 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs, while Meyer was 3-for-4 with two RBI.
For Waltonville, Ellis was 4-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Childers earned the win going seven innings. She allowed eight hits, eight runs (all earned) while walking five and striking out 11.
Ellis suffered the loss for the Jr. Spartans. She gave up 17 hits, walked five, struck out nine surrendering 14 runs, of which 12 were earned.
Both teams return to action on Tuesday. Field travels to Selmaville, while Waltonville hosts Bluford.