By Noah Rubin
South looked like a whole new team Thursday.
After losing both games of their doubleheader against North on Wednesday, the War Eagles rebounded by beating Denmark 4-3 one day later.
South head coach Leanne Brooks was proud of the way her team responded.
“Going into it, you really don’t know what to expect,” Brooks said. “We had a hard time finding our groove. The girls have really been working hard to make the adjustments, and today we did. We came out here and played a completely different ball game than we did last night. I couldn’t have asked for more.”
Josie Crossman got the win as South’s starting pitcher, as she pitched the complete game. In just her sophomore season, she’s been a force for the War Eagles this season.
“[Josie’s] been a rockstar,” Brooks said. “She’s coming in as a sophomore and was our number two pitcher last year with Hannah Marchman. She’s been out here grinding. She’s not afraid to throw as much as she needs to and is always working at things to get better. The hard work pays off, and you can really tell.”
As well as Crossman pitched, the bats were also working well for South. Ansley Chiang led the way, batting 3-for-3 and scoring a run. Five other players also got a hit for the War Eagles.
“A few people [stepped up],” Brooks said. “Emme Souter put the ball in play really hard. Karly Casey did the same thing. Kennedy Ariail came through with a big hit. A lot of our people, some of which have been having a hard time at the plate, made the adjustments they needed to make and put the ball in play. Last night, we didn’t put as many balls in play, so we didn’t put pressure on the defense. They put all the pressure on us. We tell the girls if you minimize walks and errors, you’re going to be successful.”
Ariail’s big hit came in the bottom of the fifth, as her double to left field brought home Chiang and Souter for what ended up being enough runs to get the win.
Despite the loss, Denmark head coach Savannah Huffstetler was happy with the effort her team showed.
“I’m proud of how they fought,” Huffstetler said. “We didn't play the defense that we usually play. We didn’t hit the ball like we usually do. We had a ton of at-bats that we wish we could have back, and we were still fighting for it in the seventh. We’re still right there. This team is so good and so stupidly talented that they can sometimes get away with the dumb mistakes and the bad at-bats, and we can still fight for it at the end.”
Both teams don’t play again until next Tuesday, when they play doubleheaders. South Forsyth (4-7) hosts West Forsyth, while Denmark (7-3) travels to play at North Forsyth.