In a softball game where 10 errors, six passed balls and seven wild pitches were committed, it was only fitting that South Forsyth scored the winning run without its final hitter swinging the bat.
With the score knotted 9-9 in the bottom of the seventh inning and South’s Stephanie Harris representing the winning run on third, Meghan Rud stepped to the plate. Rud never took a cut at the ball, as Harris scored on a wild pitch to give the Lady War Eagles a 10-9 win over Lambert on Wednesday at War Eagle Field.
It looked like the Lady Longhorns (20-4, 5-3 Region 6-AAAAAA) would get their first-ever win over the Lady War Eagles (11-8-2, 7-2) after leading 5-1 heading into the fifth inning and 9-8 going into the bottom of the sixth, but South rallied both times.
The Lady War Eagles committed six errors, four passed balls and four wild pitches, but overcame them with the help of a seven-run fifth inning.
"We kept our heads up and made some plays when we had to," South head coach Ronnie Davis said. "We were very disciplined at the plate in the fifth inning and had some seniors step up tonight."
Allison White led off the fifth with a walk and took second base on a sacrifice bunt from Catinella. Rud hit a double to center field and a single from Baccari scored Allison White. After a single from Kaylyn Young, Amanda Rutkowski smashed a two-run double to center off of Lambert pitcher Kassie Howard (4 2/3 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 1 K, 2 BB).
Rutkowski added to the score as she reached home safely after a fielding error allowed Sarah Nelms to reach first base. Following an error at first and a wild pitch, two more runs crossed the plate.
White batted again in the inning and delivered a single that drove in Sofia Tapia for the seventh run of the inning, as South jumped ahead 8-5.
No senior stepped up more than Young (7 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 3 K, 4 BB). She kept her poise in the circle and helped her cause at the plate going 3-for-4 with two doubles, a single and two RBIs.
"I’m always thinking what I can do for my teammates," Young said. "Even if I’m not throwing my greatest, I need to get in there and try my best and know the defense has my back."
"Lambert is definitely becoming a formidable [opponent]. Each time we play them we know we’re going to be in for a good game and it’s going to be close. We [know we] are going to have to compete and bring our ‘A’ game."
Lambert’s Maddie Butz scored the game’s first run on a fielding error in the first inning. The Lady Longhorns took advantage of four errors in the third inning to score four runs.
Butz reached first after a fielding error to start the inning and scored on a passed ball. Stovall, Megan Whitlatch and Jenny Barto each singled and scored on fielding errors, as Lambert led 5-0 to close out the top of the third inning.
Lambert retook the lead with a four-run sixth inning that included a two-run RBI double from Stovall and two fielding errors which allowed Zoe Miller and Stovall to score.
South managed one run in the bottom half of the third on an RBI double by Young that scored Catinella. Young pushed Rud across with another RBI double in the sixth inning to tie the game 9-9 heading into the seventh inning.
Harris pinch ran in the seventh for White, who drew a one-out walk. Harris stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, before scoring another ball that reached the backstop.
"They have to keep believing in themselves, and we still have a long way to go, but we get better and better every game," Lambert head coach Dana Corr said. "The biggest thing is just recovering from this. [South] did a good job. We struggled a little bit, and they held it together and we didn’t."
South is now 9-0 all-time against Lambert. The Lady War Eagles edged the Lady Longhorns 5-4 earlier this season at Lambert.
South and Lambert both close the Region 6-AAAAAA schedule on Tuesday.
The Lady War Eagles host North Forsyth while the Lady Longhorns host West Forsyth.