Preview of the 2015 Masters
Sara King shut down the final nine batters West Forsyth sent to the plate and Bella Caracciolo went yard to deep center field as North Forsyth efficiently earned a 4-2 victory over its county rival Monday night at Coal Mountain.
“Sara has matured tremendously over the past half month or so with her mentality, her presence on the mound. She’s doing a great job, not letting things she can’t control get to her. She’s just been a force for us,” North Forsyth head coach Bud Henderson said.
The Lady Raiders (14-5, 8-3 Region 6-AAAAAA) moved into a tie with the Lady Wolverines and a half game ahead of Lambert for the second, third, and fourth spots, respectively, in the region. South Forsyth remains in first place with an unblemished 9-0 league record.
For Henderson, the victory, which gave the Lady Raiders two-straight wins against county opponents (defeated Lambert 5-1 on Friday) after losing its first two county games by a combined 15-0 score.
“This is a statement for us. This tells this team a lot about how they can compete with anybody. We went over there and gave about four runs to them last time and took one in the mouth over there, but we’ve been playing clean ball here. The kids are realizing how good they are.”
Starter Kelly Carpenter left the mound in the last game between North and West without allowing a run at home to the Raiders in her career.
The story changed in the bottom of the third on Monday night, when Hayley Simpson singled and reached second on a fielding error in left field. The error was moot, however, as Caracciolo stepped to the plate one batter later and hammered the ball out of the park, giving North a 3-2 lead.
Amber Jones scored moments later when, after reaching on a single, another misplayed ball in the outfield gave her enough time to run home.
North’s first run also came on errors. In the bottom of the first Madelyn Oliver reached and advanced to second on errors at first base. Jones singled to bring home Oliver and tie the game at 1-1.
West (12-6, 8-3) took the lead in the top of the first when Bailley Concatto tripled to start the game and scored when Hayla Seitz singled from the two hole. Kayla Hardy doubled to start the second inning and scored on a Concatto single to give West a 2-1 lead that would last a frame.
Concatto had a chance to tie the game with runners in scoring position and two outs in the top of the fourth, but grounded out—beginning King’s streaky finish from the mound.
“I thought we played okay,” West head coach Justin Rickett said. “We hit the ball hard but just didn’t get it too fall our way early. (King) made us put the ball in play and they made plays behind her.”
King mainly scattered six hits, struck out five and only had one walk to pitch a complete game, while Carpenter pitched all six innings giving up six hits, walking zero and striking out three.
Jones finished 2 for 3 at the plate for North, while Concatto, Seitz and Hardy had two hits apiece for the Lady Wolverines.