Sadie Waters didn’t have a real good weekend last weekend from her coaches report, but that didn’t matter Thursday as the Forsyth Central junior came through with the game on the line in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Two outs, bases loaded, full count, score tied.
You couldn’t draw up a more pressure packed at-bat, but it didn’t faze Waters who got a hold of the 3-2 pitch, sending it over the head of the centerfielder for a three RBI triple. Waters would make it home following a wild pitch during the next at-bat to give Central the 7-3 win at home over North Forsyth.
“(Waters) is one person that you want up in that type of situation,” Central softball coach Kaelin Stevens said.
“I just knew I had to do it,” Waters said. “I wasn’t trying to hit it really far, I was just trying to get a base hit and get runs in. I had to do it for my team so that’s what happened.”
Up until that clutch hit from Waters, the story of the game for the Bulldogs (8-2, 2-0) was senior shortstop Morgan Watson, a transfer from North, who went 2-3 with three RBIs including a two-run home run in the first inning.
After fellow shortstop Mallorie Black tied the game 2-2 with an RBI double in the third inning for North (5-5, 1-1), Watson came up to bat in the bottom of the fifth with two outs and a runner on third. The senior had struck out swinging during her last at-bat in the third inning, but she wasted no time this time around, sending the first pitch she saw down the left field line for the go-ahead RBI double.
“I’m really hard at swinging at the first pitch just because I’ve always been taught (to wait),” Watson said. “I used to swing at everything so I normally try to hold myself, but that time, I struck out on that same pitch last time, so I knew they were going to throw it at me for the first pitch so I just hit it.”
Following Watson’s go-ahead RBI double, the Bulldogs had a 3-2 lead entering the sixth inning. That was until North Forsyth’s Ansley Payne hit an RBI single, also with two outs, down the left field line scoring a runner from second and tying the game at three runs apiece.
Then in the bottom of the sixth inning, after allowing a walk to load the bases, North starting pitcher Sarah Lowe was relieved of her duties after 5 2/3 innings and Mackenzie Marvin was called in to take her place.
“(Lowe’s) pitches weren’t moving like you would like,” North head coach Jim Cahill said. “She was getting a little tired, that was going to be the fourth time through the line-up. We’re still in the process of building up pitches and our girls aren’t ready to go a whole game yet.”
The first batter relief pitcher Marvin faced was Waters.
Central, in fact, had a chance to score more than just the four runs in the sixth inning as they were able to load the bases once more after Waters cleared them, but Marvin was able to get Central’s starting pitcher Bailey McCachren to strikeout to end to inning.
No matter for McCachren as she promptly stepped back up to the mound in the top of the seventh to finish her complete game performance and preserve the 7-3 win over their region opponent and rival.
“For us, it’s about gaining confidence that we can compete in this region,” Stevens said. “We didn’t feel like we could last year and we definitely didn’t show we could, but we’re finally gaining a little momentum, a little confidence. We just got to keep going.”