Coaches always want their teams to peak at the right time. If Tuesday night offered any indication, West Forsyth picked a good spot in the schedule to heat up.
Starting pitcher Hannah Guthrie allowed just one hit – in the sixth inning – and West pelted North Forsyth with 16 hits of its own for an 8-0 win at Coal Mountain, taking the season series against the Lady Raiders, two games to one.
West reclaimed a winning regular season record at 13-12 (8-6 Region 5-7A) with one game to go--Thursday at Milton, which is in the bottom of the region standings with just one win. Meanwhile, North (11-9, 6-8 Region 5-7A) holds onto fourth place, a spot behind West, in the region standings.
Even though the win was about as dominant as it could be, West head coach Justin Rickett didn't want to play up one game too much.
"You always want to be playing your best at the end of the season, but really, unless you win your region championship in a tournament you're heading into the state playoffs coming off a loss,” Rickett said. “So you have to be mentally ready for that, and can't really focus on one game here or there. We've got Milton later this week and we need to turn around and focus on them."
North struggled at the plate, often popping up Guthrie's pitches throughout the night, but head coach Bud Henderson highlighted six team errors as the main cause for concern. Even though the team had a very tough outing, he knows they have the capability to bounce back from tough losses.
"We did a good job flushing out the memory of the Milton game," Henderson said, referencing an 8-3 loss to the Lady Eagles on Sept. 15. "I'm very optimistic. I think maybe this game wakes us up again. We left a lot of play out here tonight, we had a lot of errors, nobody out here was singularly to blame. I think this is the best team I've ever had in this program in 10 years, and they are quite capable of a lot more than they showed tonight. I hope we put this one behind us."
Guthrie stuck out eight in the contest, finishing the game on the mound, and allowed just three walks. Her only allowed hit came when Mallorie Black knocked a single to shallow left in the sixth inning.
Offensively, leadoff hitter Bailley Concatto finished 4-for-4 at the plate with a run scored, while Carlie Behan had three hits, an RBI, and a run scored right behind her. Lauren Crowe finished 3-for-3 with an RBI in the cleanup spot, while the back of the lineup provided six total runs and four total RBI. Christie Carpenter was 2-for-3 with two RBI singles from the nine hole, while Gracie Martin was 2 for 4 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored. Ashley Schell had one single, reached three times and had three runs scored.
"You can't single out one performance from tonight," Rickett said. "We hit the ball well, we pitched well and we had production at the plate from the top to the bottom of the lineup."