By MacKenzie Bates
For the Forsyth County News
Forsyth Central junior pitcher Bailey McCachren shined for the Lady Bulldogs when the team needed her.
The Tennessee commit struck out everyone the Lambert lineup at least once and had an RBI as Central advanced in the Region 5 7A tournament with a 6-0 victory. The Bulldogs are set to face the winner of the Lambert/West elimination game on Wednesday to determine the No. 3 and 4 seeds for the state tournament.
“We came out with the fire that we needed to get the job done,” said McCachren, who pitched a complete game, with 14 strikeouts. “We knew it was going to be tough. We came out and did our jobs, and we knew if that happened that we were going to get the win.”
“Bailey is Bailey,” Central head coach Paul Cromie said. “The expectation that I have for her every time she goes out is exactly what she did. 14 K’s is phenomenal. She kept the ball down and adjusted her strike zone to the umpire’s strike zone. It differs every game.”
Central (12-9) got on the board in the second inning. After a leadoff single by McCachren, Lauren Wall poked a single to right center to score Kendall Maynard, the courtesy runner for McCachren. Central scored two more runs in the third on Caraline Bryant's infield single.
“We’re fighting for a three seed (in the state playoffs),” Cromie said. “We’ve had so many runners left on base, in scoring position. We tweaked up our lineup and changed up some chemistry and things are finally starting to click.”
Central would get their final run on a fielder’s choice by McCachren in the bottom of the fourth inning.
While the Bulldogs poured out 10 hits, half of them came from the bottom of the order. Wall and Kristi Brower each had two hits and an RBI. Ansley Moody also had a base hit and an brought home a run.
“That’s what we’ve been missing all year,” Cromie said. “You can only do so much. You can practice and throw extra BP and you can talk about it until you’re blue in the face. They’re the ones that have to go out there and do it, and they came through for this team.”
Lambert (8-17) had opportunities to score, but left 11 runners on base throughout the game.
“We had some really good hits tonight against Bailey,” Lambert head coach Brooks Youngblood said. “...We just couldn’t string them together.”
Lambert got doubles from Brooke Miller and Anna Jackson. Maddie Todd legged out a triple.
“This win gives us a lot of confidence,” McCachren said. “It shows that if we keep playing like this, we can get where we want to be.”