Late rallies by Union sink Nation Ford

mbanks@comporium.netMarch 31, 2014 

— The Nation Ford High softball team thumped South Pointe last week in a win that came just in time.

The Lady Falcons needed something to erase the memory of a tough loss to Union County the day before. It took two big innings for Union County to get past Nation Ford 12-8. Union County’s Lady Jackets scored four in the sixth and three in the seventh for the win.

“It was a focus issue,” said coach Michael Kidd. “We made a couple mistakes and you need to be able to overcome those mistakes, but we didn’t. Defensively, we couldn’t match them run for run with the mistakes we made. If we didn’t make those mistakes than it’s a different ball game, there is no doubt. We just played out of character.”

Union County, ranked second in the state in 3A, had already beaten Nation Ford 3-2 earlier in the season. This time the Lady Jackets’ bats came alive late.

Both teams cruised through the first two innings giving up the occasional hit, but never really threatening. Union County struck first in the top of the third. After a single by center fielder Cece Moorman, catcher Ashley Vinson slugged a home run over the left center field wall giving the Lady Jackets a 2-0 lead. The Lady Falcons rallied in the bottom of the inning with four runs as catcher Bre Tremblay led off with a single to right field. Pinch runner Sabrina Johnson scored on a throwing error by Union County pitcher Hannah Sailors trying to get an out at first.

Right fielder Autumn Mitchell, who reached on the error, scored on a sac fly by lead-off hitter Darby Trull to tie the game.

Left fielder Carolyn Thompson singled and was knocked in by first baseman Brooke McCurry, giving the Lady Falcons the lead. Nation Ford added another run in the inning on a passed ball.

Union County third baseman Clarissa Hughes got a run right back by leading the fourth inning off with a solo home run to centerfield.

Back-to-back errors by Nation Ford and a double by Lady Jackets’ shortstop Dexlie Inman tied the game at 4-4. Moorman gave the Lady Jackets the lead again on a sacrifice.

Two throwing errors in the fourth inning allowed both third baseman Kelsie Kidd and Mitchell to score giving Nation Ford the lead again. Thompson doubled in Trull who reached on an error, as the Lady Falcons went up 7-5.

Union County threatened in the fifth, but starting pitcher Ashton Irvin pitched her way out of a jam after allowing a single and hitting Hughes, who homered earlier. However, Irvin got in trouble in the sixth walking the first two batters for Union County.

A passed ball and an RBI single by Sailors tied the game at 7-7. Another walk by Irvin forced a pitching change as McCurry came in. Irvin allowed nine hits in 5 1/3 innings of work. She also allowed nine runs, but only four of them earned as she dropped to 0-1 on the season.

After a hitless sixth from Nation Ford, the first two batters for Union County batters reached base in the top of the seventh. That set up Vinson’s base-clearing double to add to the Lady Jackets’ lead. Vinson later scored on another Lady Falcons error.

Nation Ford added a run in the bottom of the seventh on a Kidd single.

The Lady Falcons bounced back the next day with a 16-3 region win over South Pointe to improve to 3-2 in the region. Nation Ford has a busy week ahead with four games on the schedule.

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