A game featuring a combined 22 strikeouts with only six hits allowed between Forsyth Central pitcher Bailey McCachren and West Forsyth pitcher Hannah Guthrie ended on a throwing error by the Wolverine infield in the 10th inning, and Central escaped with a 2-1 win at home Wednesday.
With both pitchers on top of their game, something out of the ordinary likely had to occur to determine a winner. That’s what happened in the bottom of the 10th.
After a runner was placed on second base, McCachren came up to bat. The sophomore laid a bunt down the third base line that was fielded and then thrown over the head of the first baseman to score baserunner Abbie Flint for the walk-off win.
“It really comes down to one hit, one play, one error here and there,” said Forsyth Central coach Kaelin Stevens about playing in a close game. “We were hoping it was going to be us on the winning side and not them.”
In the top half of the same inning, Central catcher Grace Kiser made a play at the plate, blocking the slide of the West runner trying to tag up on a shallow fly ball.
The only other time McCachren got in trouble was in the sixth inning where she allowed her only two walks to load the bases with one out. West went on to score their only run of the game that inning, but it could’ve been worse.
With runners on first and third and two outs, McCachren got one of her 12 strikeouts to end the inning and keep the game tied 1-1.
“I trust my defense,” said McCachren about pitching in a close, low-scoring game. “So, it’s not as hard for me. I’m able to trust my defense to hold the other team.”
West (5-11, 3-4 Region 5-7A) was held to only three hits, but Central (10-5, 4-3 Region 5-7A) only managed three hits of their own.
“We didn’t play super tonight,” Stevens said. “We didn’t hit the ball at all tonight. Bailey pitched extremely well tonight, but like I told the girls, we can’t depend on her pitching extremely well day in and day out. We got to have some run production behind her.”