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Softball: War Eagles put Wolverines away with 7-run 1st inning
Kennedy Ariail
South Forsyth's Kennedy Ariail at the plate Thursday at West Forsyth. (Photo by Zethan Ajayi)

On Thursday, the South Forsyth War Eagles took care of business on the road against West Forsyth, using a seven-run first inning to capture a 9-3 victory in Region 6-7A action.

“Their ability to come together,” War Eagles head coach Leanne Brooks said, describing her team's performance on the five-game winning streak. “That’s something we haven’t really seen a ton of in the past couple of years. They’re really figuring out that chemistry in more working together for ‘we’ instead of ‘me.’”

Out of the gate, the War Eagles got the ballgame rolling with Audrey Hui recording an RBI single with Charlotte Brooks scoring from third base.

Emme Souter and Kennedy Ariail contributed by adding more runs from Karly Casey’s single. Meghan Lochhead posted an RBI single to grow the lead to 4-0.

Josie Crossman drew a walk to first base. Coach Brooks then swapped her out for courtesy runner Reesie Burch.

Charlotte Brooks stepped to the plate for her second at-bat of the frame, and she didn’t disappoint. She swung her bat with force, sending the ball to the right side of the field and allowing Casey to race to home plate.

The early series of runs didn’t end there for South, as Ansley Chiang hit the softball in the soft zone of the West defense and collected two RBIs. As Burch got to the plate with ease, she awaited her teammate Madilyn Parmele, who scored the seventh run in the inning.

“Straight no,” coach Brooks said regarding if she envisioned starting the game hot. ''I wasn’t sure what we were going to do as we came off slower pitching than [Abby Williams], so I didn’t know how the girls were going to react. They couldn’t have made me more proud.”

In the top of the fourth inning, Souter hit a low ground ball and reached on an error. The defensive miscue allowed Ariail to score her second run to extend the lead to 8-0.

It was important for the Wolverines not to get shut out in front of their fans, and they managed to avoid it by scoring three runs in the fourth.

Williams’ plate appearance was successful, as she recorded an RBI double with Lindleigh Cole reaching home plate.

With runners at the corners, Rylee Ramirez put the ball in play, and that’s when Grace Harvey saw an opening to score the Wolverines’ second run. Katie Cooper tacked on one more run, as the Wolverines' bench cheered her on to cut the lead to 8-3.

Crossman stopped the Wolverines from scoring more by striking out three of West’s players in a row.

In helping her own cause, Crossman’s single drove in Sarah Quian for the game's final run. The southpaw earned the victory in the circle, striking out seven Wolverines.

Brooks and Lochhead led South by collecting two hits each. Casey paced the team with two RBIs.

Paige Carroll went 2-for-3 to lead the Wolverines (9-5, 2-2) in hits.

War Eagles improved their impressive record on the road to 5-1.

Overall, South Forsyth moved to 10-4 overall and stayed perfect in region play at 4-0. The team is tied with Denmark atop the region standings and will host the Danes Sept. 12 with first place on the line. 

Before that, the War Eagles will welcome Archer and Marist Sept. 10 for a set of three games.

“It’s always a little sweet to take those victories away, and it just makes it even sweeter when we can protect our home," coach Brooks said. "We try to carry that same mindset wherever we go. Thankfully we had a pretty good student section show. That always helps and [is] always a big encouragement.”