By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
Trailing Berea by a score of 4-3 in Tuesday night’s match-up at the War Path, Southwestern needed to get some hits and score some runs.
Lady Warrior sophomore Destiny Molden did just that with one swing of the bat, as she sent a ball over the left field center field fence for a two-run home run, catapulting the ‘Blue and Orange’ to a 5-4 victory over the visiting Berea Lady Pirates.
Jim Woodall, who retired from the Southwestern coaching position after the 2011 season and is back in the Lady Warrior as the head coach, was more than thrilled with the clutch hit from Molden.
“For Destiny to come up with a hit like that, that was huge,” began the veteran softball coach. “She has really been struggling at hitting in practice. Before she got that hit, I told her ‘Remember what you’ve been working on.’ She hasn’t had as many reps as most of the girls because she played basketball.”
When Molden came up to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Lady Pirates held a one-run, 4-3 advantage over the Lady Warriors. That Berea lead would be short-lived though, as Molden, following a Sydney ‘Dozer’ Fourman walk, sent a pitch sailing over the wall for a two-run blast.
Molden’s shot allowed Southwestern to retake the lead from Berea, and eventually allow the Lady Warriors to escape with a victory in their season-opener. Junior Hope Bruner, who singled in the bottom of the sixth frame, would score Southwestern’s third run of the evening on a sacrifice fly from fellow junior Sarah Smith.
The Lady Warriors finished with only five hits on the night, while Berea banged out ten hits. Fourman led the charge for Southwestern with two hits (a single and a double), while Molden, Bruner, and freshman Angel Beasley chimed in with one hit each.
On the mound, Fourman picked up the victory for Southwestern. In seven innings on the mound, the junior had five strikeouts.
“We struggled all-night long hitting the ball and our defense wasn’t good either,” Woodall said. “Dozer didn’t have her ‘A’ game, but she pitched good enough to win. That big hit by Molden and the play from Angel Beasley in the outfield really helped. Our little eighth-grader behind the plate - Shantelle Woodall - did well tonight.”
“It was our first game of the year, so we had first game jitters. I’m just glad it’s over with.”
After Berea took an early 1-0 lead, Southwestern plated two runs in the second frame to grab a 2-1 advantage. A sacrifice from Molden would allow Fourman, who reached on a double, to score the Lady Warriors’ first run of the evening. Beasley, who singled, allowed Southwestern to take a one-run lead after scoring on a fielder’s choice from junior Allie Venable.
Berea would score one run in the third inning and two in the fifth inning to run out to a 4-2 lead over the Lady Warriors. The Lady Pirates’ runs came from Miranda Montgomery, who finished with game high in two categories: hits (3) and RBI’s (2).
The Lady Warriors, who are 1-0 on the young season, will travel to Clinton County tonight to take on the Lady Bulldogs. Southwestern will return to the War Path on Monday, March 25th, when they will host Cumberland County at 6:30 p.m.
BHS - 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 - 4 10 0
SWHS - 0 2 0 0 0 3 X - 5 5 3
WP: Fourman (SW)
LP: Ingram (BEREA)
2B: Ingram (BEREA); Fourman (SW)
HR: Molden (SW)
RBI: Montgomery 2, Musick, Sandefur (BEREA); Molden 2, Smith (SW)