By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
The best way to open district play is with a victory.
Southwestern did just that on Tuesday evening at the War Path, as the Lady Warriors overcame an early, 2-0 deficit to down 48th District foe Wayne County by a final tally of 7-2.
With the five-run victory over the Lady Cardinals of Wayne County, Jim Woodall’s Lady Warriors upped their record to 10-4 overall and 1-0 in district action.
“I am absolutely thrilled, because Wayne County always plays us tough,” Woodall. “The first district game is usually the toughest, but it’s down and in the books - now we can move on. We’re going to give the girls a couple of days off, then head to Model on Friday and see what we do against them.”
The Lady Cardinals jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening frame and would maintain that lead for 2 ½ innings. After trailing in the early innings, the ‘Blue and Orange’ plated five straight runs before coming away with a 7-2 win.
Southwestern tallied three runs in the bottom half of the third inning to grab a one-run, 3-2 advantage over the Lady Cardinals. The Lady Warriors had three hits in the frame, which were all extra base hits. Junior Allie Venable hit a triple, junior Sydney ‘Dozer’ Fourman came up with a double, and sophomore Destiny Molden blasted a ball over the fence for a home run.
In the following frame, the Lady Warriors added one run to the total to run their lead over Wayne County out to two runs at 4-2. Junior Hope Bruner, who reached on a walk, scored Southwestern’s fourth run of the night on an RBI single from Venable.
The Lady Warriors continued to roll in the sixth inning, as three more runs would cross the plate. With the trio of runs scored in the frame, Southwestern ran their lead out to 7-2, which would be the final tally in this one.
One reason for Southwestern’s big inning in the sixth was due to three errors from the Lady Cardinals. Wayne County finished with five errors in the contest.
At the dish, the Lady Warriors were led by the hot bat of Venable, who finished with a game-high three hits and a pair of RBI’s. One of Venable’s three hits was a triple that came in the third inning.
Molden and eighth-grader Shantelle Woodall both chimed in with two hits each. Molden finished a game-high three RBI’s and a huge home run in the third frame.
Junior Sarah Smith, senior Megan Burchett, and Fourman, each tallied a hit in the district win over Wayne County. Smith also had an RBI in the contest.
Fourman, who pitched all seven innings for the Lady Warriors, earned the victory. The junior hurler had ten strikeouts in the contest.
The veteran softball coach is pretty happy with the play of his Lady Warrior bunch right now.
“Dozer was on her game tonight,” told Woodall. “That shot by Molden was a big lift for us. We had some good timely hitting tonight from the team. Our base running was not really what we thought it would be, but hats off to the catcher - she’s got a good arm. We’re playing pretty good right now overall.”
The Lady Warriors, who have won three straight games, are scheduled to travel to Richmond Model on Friday night, when they will square-off with the Lady Patriots at 6 p.m. in Richmond.
WC - 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 2 6 5
SW - 0 0 3 1 0 3 X - 7 10 0
WP - Fourman (SW
LP - To. Bell (WC)
2B - Smith, Fourman (SW)
3B - Sullivan (WC); Venable (SW)
HR - Molden (SW)
RBI - Turner 2 (WC); Molden 3, Venable 2, Smith (SW)