Falcons End Tough Stretch on High Note.
At some point during every season, a team goes through a tough section of the schedule. For the Falcons, it was this past week as the team was scheduled to face East Surry (4-2), West Forsyth (8-0), FCD (3-0) and West Wilkes (6-1) over the span of eight days.
First up, the Cardinals of East Surry with standout pitcher Emily Cummings. Cummings held the Falcons to only two runs over the first three innings, but was then replaced by Lawson. The Falcons tacked on three more runs in the 5th inning to give Sydney Miller more than she would need in the 5-1 victory.
The Falcons then traveled to West Forsyth to face off against the undefeated Titans of West Forsyth. In this one, the Falcons struck the first blow with back-to-back clutch hits from Taylor Wooten and Logan Wood that plated Mitchell and Swaim. Mitchell and Swaim reached base by way of a walk. A break for the Falcons.
The 2-0 lead held until the 6th inning as Sydney Miller was able to keep the potent Titan offense at bay. In the sixth, it was the Titans that would receive the break. After a lead-off single by Pereira, West tried to sacrifice her to second base. The Falcons went for the out at second base, but the throw was late; leaving runners at first and second. A double by Runge and a groundout by Epling evened the score at two apiece.
The Falcons bounced right back with a two-run homer from Mitchell to push the Falcons back out front by a score of 4-2 heading into the bottom of the 7th inning. The Titans looked to be headed for their first loss of the season with the 7, 8, 9 batters headed to the plate. This was not the case as these batters all reached base. A single in the hole, followed by an error, followed by a sac bunt turned hit loaded the bases for the top of the order.
With no outs, it would take a miracle for the Falcons to get out of this jam. Miller buckled down and retired two in a row on a grounder back to the mound and a strikeout. A glimmer of hope for the Falcons as they just needed one more out. Unfortunately it wouldn't come as Perry hit a hard ground ball with eyes that found its way to the outfield fence. All three runs would score to give the Titans the walk-off victory.
Saturday's game against FCD would be cancelled due to weather, so the Lady Falcons would have to wait until Monday to get back on the field. The opponent for the home game was the BlackHawks of West Wilkes, coming in with a record of 6-1.
The Lady Falcons pounded out 10 hits on the evening, but could only manage 3 opportunistic runs. Jessie Hunter started the breakthrough in the bottom of the third inning with a lead-off single to center field. Allison Mitchell followed with a grounder to short that should have been a fielder's choice, but was misplayed by the shortstop. With runners on 1st and 2nd, Kelsey Swaim followed with a double to right to score Hunter. The Falcons would score another run later in the inning on a dropped ball by the catcher to give them a 2-0 lead.
Sydney Miller kept the BlackHawks out of scoring position most of the night, and worked out of a couple of jams to get the shutout. The Falcons would add its final run in the 5th inning on a perfect squeeze bunt by Madison Baity to get the win and move to 7-1 overall on the season.
Next up for the Falcons will be the Rams of Starmount on Wednesday, March 23rd. Then, a week of R and R before jumping back into conference play against South Stokes.
Definition of a Teammate
Webster defines a teammate as someone that is on the same team as another person. Technically true, but way off base in terms of a teammate's importance. Championships require a higher level teammate.
In softball, a teammate stands at the fence of the dugout cheering on her team's batter even when the teammate knows that she will not swing a bat tonight. A teammate backs up the play each and every time even when the player throwing the ball never makes an error.
A teammate knows that the last play you made was dumb, and cost the team the game. However, she reaches out to pick you up so that you will have confidence to make the next play.
Finally, a teammate checks the mirror before directing others.
There are several players deserving of the term "teammate", but we would like to highlight Kelsey Swaim for this week's performance. Batting in the two spot in the order, Kelsey has drawn four walks in the past three games. She has gotten the bunt down when asked to do so, and she picked up a couple of key hits. Defensively, Swaim has done her job at 100% effort.
Congrats, Kelsey Swaim on earning the first Teammate Award!
West Wilkes Stats
2 for 4
2 for 4, 2B
1 for 3, BB
1 for 3
1 for 2, BB
JV Rally to Top Titans
With their backs against the wall, the JV softball team rallied to defeat the Titans of West Forsyth. Macey Rycroft and Caiti Mickles picked up the RBIs to push the Falcons out in front in the 7th for the victory.
With the Falcons trailing by a run, Macey Rycroft refused to let her team lose as she fought off pitches to remain alive at the plate. Finally getting a pitch she could handle, Rycroft lined a ball to right-center that drove in the tying run for the Falcons. Caiti Mickles followed with a line drive down the right field line that would score Rycroft to give the Falcons the lead. Two more runs would come across to give the Falcons a commanding 4-1 lead.
The Titans did their best to come back in the bottom of the seventh inning, but Mickles and her defense held strong to get with 4-3 win!
With the win, the Falcons JV team is now 6-0 on the season. The Falcons and the Titans are set to square off again on Wednesday, March 23rd at Forbush. Should be a good one!