North Forsyth sophomore pitcher Hailey Mize knew what was at stake Tuesday night.
The Lady Raiders now control their own destiny for the top seed in Region 5-7A, as she pitched a complete game in a 5-3 win over rival Forsyth Central Tuesday night. Mize dazzled in the circle, giving up three runs on six hits with five strikeouts. She smacked two doubles and three hits overall to net three RBI’s for North (10-12, 6-3).
“We have a big chance to earn the one seed in our region, and with this win it helps a lot,” Mize said.
“She battled out there,” North head coach Jim Cahill said. “She’s a competitor. She may not always have her best stuff every night out, but she battles.”
The Lady Raiders pushed two runs across in the first inning. Abby Martin’s double scored McKayla Cothran before Mize earned her first run.
Central (9-9, 5-4) would start a rally in the top of the sixth. Down 5-1, Ansley Clark reached on an error. After a Caraline Bryant single, Grace Kiser and Sydney Moroney got two two-out hits to cut North’s lead to two runs.
Mize, calm and collected, got her team out of the jam on a groundout by Lauren Wall to end the inning.
“I’m very confident in myself and my team in those situations,” Mize said. “We got some big plays from our defense. This was a big team win for us.”
The Lady Raiders scored four of their five runs with two outs, something Cahill was particularly proud of.
“That’s one thing we focus on,” Cahill said. “There were a couple of times where we had two-strike, two-out hitting and we did a good job with that. (Central) is a great team and (Bulldogs pitcher Bailey McCaheren) does a great job.”
“She’s one of the best pitchers in the Region and to get a win against her is a quality win.”
McCachern struck out 10 Raiders.
Bulldogs head coach Paul Cromie said some missed opportunities with runners on base and a few fielding errors were the big difference for his club.
“I’m definitely proud of these girls for not giving up,” Cromie said. “But by the same token, we lose by two ,and if we make some plays when we should have, probably a couple of those runs come off the board, and it’s a whole different ballgame.”
Bryant was 2-for-3 at the plate.
Cromie said his team’s in a jam, making Thursday’s contest against South Forsyth critical for the Bulldogs’ seeding going in to the playoffs.
North travels to West Forsyth on Thursday.