When Lambert shortstop Savannah Huffstetler homered to dead center with two outs in the first inning, the Lady Longhorns looked to be off and running to another comfortable win.
North Forsyth pitcher Amber Jones held Lambert to two runs, but Lambert’s Marissa Guimbarda tossed a complete-game, three-hit shutout as the Lady Longhorns squeezed by their county rivals for a 2-0 home win on Tuesday.
Guimbarda held North (6-8, 5-4 Region 6-AAAAAA) hitless over the final four innings and scored an insurance run for Lambert (12-1, 9-0) in the sixth on Macy Stovall’s sacrifice fly.
“Marissa had a great night,” Lambert coach Brooks Youngblood said. “She threw her pitches where she wanted them and got weak contact out of it.”
Lambert had a runner in scoring position in every inning but could not take advantage. The Lady Longhorns ran in to outs on the base paths in the fifth and sixth innings, in both instances trying to advance on throws from the outfield.
“We had a rough day on the bases—some of the worst base running I’ve ever seen us have,” Youngblood said. “Definitely there were some missed opportunities and we gave them free outs. Things could’ve gone against us today, but they didn’t and we were fortunate to come away with a win.”
Two stunning North defensive plays kept the Raiders close. In the third, Lambert center fielder Maddie Butz led off with a single and stole second. Huffstetler turned on a North offering and lined a shot that was bound for the left field corner, but the Raiders’ Haley Simpson made a lunging, waist-high grab to hold Butz at second.
Huffstetler (1-3, HR, RBI) stepped to the plate in the fifth with another chance to extend Lambert’s lead. Butz (2-3, 2B, SB) had doubled down the left field line and went to third on Skylar Aledia’s bloop single. Huffstetler again scorched a line drive—right in to North pitcher Amber Jones’s glove. Huffstetler didn’t even have time to drop her bat.
“Savannah hit the ball hard all night,” Youngblood said. “Her home run was her weakest contact of the night. Her liner back to the pitcher, I don’t know how [Jones] even got her glove on it. The ball she hit to left field was a missile.”
On this night, with Guimbarda dealing, two runs were enough.
“I always tell the girls, those are the kinds of games you have to win, when maybe you’re not at your best,” Youngblood said. “It doesn’t matter how you win those games. We’re getting to the end of our first time through the region, and we’ll have to win a few more games like that this year.