For the second time in less than a week, Forsyth Central and Lambert played into extra innings. This time, however, the Bulldogs came out on top thanks to a two-run double from Morgan Watson in the top of the ninth inning to lead Central to a 5-4 win at Lambert on Thursday.
“I just knew that my job was to get a run in or advance the runners,” said Watson about her ninth inning at bat. “Every time I get up to bat I just want to do my job. That time when I got up, my job was to score a run.”
Watson (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) got up to bat with runners on second and third with one out. The senior hit a blooper over the heads of the Lambert infielders into shallow right field scoring Mattie Smith from third and Sadie Waters, who beat out the throw to home, from second base.
The two-run lead proved to be crucial as Lambert (14-9, 7-5 Region 5-7A) scored a run in the bottom half of the ninth inning, but Central pitcher Bailey McCachren made sure that was all Lambert got as the sophomore pitcher secured the victory for the Bulldogs (13-6, 7-4 Region 5-7A).
McCachren started off the scoring for Central with a two-RBI double in the fourth inning. During the play, Lambert outfielder Alexis Sewell injured her shoulder diving for the fly ball in center field. One of her teammates had to collect the ball for Sewell, allowing the two runs to score.
The other RBI for Central was off a single by Lauren Wall. It was one of the 12 hits Central was able to get off of Lambert pitcher Kassidy Krupit.
“We’ve been really focusing on hitting,” Central coach Kaelin Stevens said. “(Our players) scratched tonight. “It still wasn’t pretty. We still messed up in certain places. We could’ve got a lot more bunts down, but they scratched and they fought and they got hits when we needed them.”
A lack of production at the plate has been Central’s weakness all season and, as a result, hitting is always one of the primary focal points at practice.
“We practice really hard,” Watson said. “We pitch off a lot faster than (Krupit) on the machine, and we just don’t let Lambert get above Central. We play for our school and just take it pitch by pitch.”
Lambert scored two of their four runs off solo homeruns. The first was by Krupit to tie the game at 2-2 in the fifth inning.
The second solo home run was from sophomore Anna Jackson who replaced the injured Sewell. Jackson hit her solo shot to lead off the seventh inning, tying the game 3-3 and forcing extra innings.