(2008 - 2009) - Softball

vs. Gaffney/Laurens DH Pre-Season,

Date: Feb. 20, 2009
Time: 06:30 PM
Location: Laurens High School

MAVS KICKOFF 2009 SOFTBALL SEASON WITH PAIR OF SCRIMMAGE WINS !

MHS 4 - Gaffney 2

MHS 10 - Laurens 3

      On a clear but Chilly Friday night, The Lady Mavs Softball team joined the Gaffney High Indians and Laurens County High Raiders in a three game round-robin scrimmage.  In the opening Game, Gaffney outlasted Laurens 8-5 in 5 innings.  Next, the defending 4A Region 2 Champs, Mauldin took the field against the Lady Indians. The game got off to an inauspicious start for the visiting Mavericks as Gaffney Ace, Julie Surratt, struck out the top of the Mauldin order in succession, thanks in part to an optical illusion near third base when Mauldin's Dana Landers Ripped an 0-1 pitch down the line. 2008 4A All-state pitcher Ashley Bagwell toed the mound for the Lady Mavs in the first game and she and her teammates showed that they had some rust to shake off as Gaffney scored two runs without a hit in the bottom of the first with two walks and two Mauldin fielding errors.  In the top of the second, Junior Jordan Stovall and senior Captain Haley Register each walked but the threat to the Indian's lead didn't materialize... erased by two strikeouts and a pinch runner caught stealing second.  Although Bagwell gave up a bunt hit and a couple more walks through the balance of Gaffney's offensive innings, she and her defense warmed up and looked closer to regular season form through the last four innings.  Bagwell struck out 6 Indian hitters and the lady Mav defense played errorless after the shaky first inning - shutting out the Gaffney attack through the last 4 innings.  It would be up to the Mauldin Offense to generate runs against the formidable Gaffney pitcher and defense.
     Jenna Westmoreland led off the top of the third inning with a long triple to rightfield to give the heretofore cold and uninspired Mauldin faithful reason to cheer.  Gaffney's Surratt was determined not to break and struck out the next two batters on 8 pitches.  Then with two outs and a runner on third, the pressure was on the Maverick's Junior leadoff batter, Kenzi Corn. With a 1-2 count, Corn laced a liner down the third baseline into leftfield before Mauldin was again victimized by the strange optical delusion along that tectonic ridge in Laurens County - "Foul Ball !" . With two strikes and a disappointment, the gritty centerfielder took ball two high, then drilled Surratt's 7th pitch back up the middle to score Westmoreland.  A walk and flyout ended the inning, but the Mavs were responding and now down only a run after three.  In the top of the fourth, Former All Region catcher Jordan Stovall singled to Leftfield to start the inning.  Pinch-runner Bria Barnhill advanced to second on a hit and run with Amelia Gillentine who hit a hard grounder behind the runner but played well by the Lauren's first baseman.  Freshman Barnhill moved to 3rd with two outs on a line drive hit to left by 8th Grader Brianna Davis, who advanced to second on the run preventing throw to home. Jenna Westmoreland then lined Surratt's second pitch into leftfield for a two RBI single, giving Mauldin the lead 3-2.
      In the top of the fifth inning,  Corn got a one out infield single and stole second to get into scoring position. After a strikeout, Co-Captain and Sophomore Shortstop Dana Landers fisted an inside 2-2 pitch between the Indian's shortstop and leftfielder to score Corn, who was running on the swing,  A hustling Landers dove headfirst safely into secondto turn the Texas Leaguer into an RBI double, giving the Mavs an insurance run going into the bottom of the 5th.  In Gafffney's last at bat, the Mauldin defense showed its mettle too - Shortstop Landers went deep into the 5/6 hole and gunned the runner at first to record the first out.   The second batter walked, but was gunned down by catcher Jordan Stovall attempting to steal second, and Bagwell struck out the third batter on a nasty 5th pitch changeup to seal the victory for the Lady Mavs,   4-2 against a game Gaffney High softball team.

      As temperatures dipped below freezing and younger siblings bedtime came and went.  The Lady Mavs would be the home team against the host Laurens Raiders.  Starting Pitcher, Ashley Bagwell picked up where she left off the previous game, striking out 4, allowing only one hit, and no walks in her 3 innings of work against the overmatched Raiders.  The Lady Mavs defense did its part as well, allowing no Laurens runners to reach second base through four innings.  Catcher Jordan Stovall atoned for a drop third strike in the first inning with a snap-throw pickoff of a runner at first in the second.  In Mauldin's first at bat, the Lady Mavs scored 4 runs on 4 hits before making an out.  Bria Barnhill, Dana Landers, and Jordan Stovall hit line drive singles in succession after Kenzi Corn was hit by a pitch. Corn and Barnhill scored on Stovall's single, then Landers and Stovall scored on a long double to rightfield  by Amelia Gillentine.   The first out was recorded only as Gillentine tried to stretch the double to a triple and was gunned out at third by a strong relay throw by the Raider's second baseman.  Jenna Westmoreland reached on a Laurens error and stole second base.  She went to third and Brianna Davis reached first safely and hustled to second on a throwing error by the Raider third baseman.  Haley Register drove in Westmoreland and Davis with a line drive up the middle.  Brooke Barnhill and Register both showed good speed when Barnhill beat out an infield single and Register scored from second on the infield throws.
      After Laurens brought in former lady Mav letterman Elizabeth Williamson to pitch to Mauldin in the bottom of the second inning, Landers doubled to right and Stovall reached on an error before the red-hot Westmoreland singled home Landers and pinch runner Ebony Edwards to extend Mauuldin's lead to 9-0.  Amelia Gillentine came in in middle relief for Mauldin in the fourth inning and showed pitching depth by retiring the heart of the Raiders lineup in order on two strikeouts and a sharply hit grounder to first baseman Elizabeth Renwick.  Gillentine gave up a hit in the 5th inning but recorded two more strikeouts and no walks in her two innings of shutout relief work.  In Mauldin's bottom half of the 4th inning Bria Barnhill led off with a bloop single to short right-center and took second on a passed ball.  Dana Landers then lifted a long fly to right that was caught by a diving Raider.  A hustling Barnhill scored from second on the play to round out the Lady Mavs scoring and extend the lead to 10-0.  Junior Kenzi Corn took the mound for the Mavs in the host team's last at-bat and retired the Raiders after giving up two hits and two walks and watching a dropped fly ball in her outfield. Lauren's Williamson delivered the biggest blow of the night by the Lady Raiders on the game's final play - she hit a long ball into the rightfield corner for an RBI triple, but was gunned down trying to get back to third after a fine relay from right to second to home to third pinned her diving back to the base.  Mauldin Lady Mavs 10 - Laurens County Raiders 3.

      Congratulations to the Coaches Joseph Terry and Sarah Hall ... and to the Lady Mavs for shaking off the rust and battling the cold to post two pre-season wins.  Although there were too many walks allowed and strikeouts by our girls.. plus some errors, missed signs, and communication lapses, it was a good inaugural outing and trial run for the team and a chance to finally play in game situations after months of conditioning and weeks of practice.  Except for the ugly first and last innings of the 10 they played, Our Lady Mavs shut out these two opponents and made only one error while recording 16 hits and 14 runs in the  8 inning span !  As Coach Terry said concisely after the game, "we've definitely got some things to work on, but its a good start".