(2008 - 2009) - Softball

vs. Crescent High Pre-Season,

Date: Mar. 05, 2009
Time: 05:30 PM
Location: Crescent High School

  LADY MAVS REMAIN UNBEATEN IN PRE-SEASON

      After the rains came, the snows melted, and students returned to
school,  The Lady Mav Softball team finally got to meet the Lady Tigers of
2A Softball Powerhouse Crescent High School. Rescheduled from a cold
Tuesday, Thursday evenings weather was clear and cool - pleasant after the
1.5 hour drive to Starr-Iva.
      If the Lady Mavs were suffering from missed practice at the beginning
of the week, it didnt show up in the top of the first inning !  Kenzi Corn
started the Mauldin rally with an infield single to the left side of the
Lady Tiger infield. She then promptly stole second base and moved to third
on a sharp grounder to First base. When Jordan Stovall drove a Kelsey Davis
fastball deep over the left-centerfield wall, the Mauldin Softballers were
out to a quick 2-0 lead.  Brianna Davis then lined a single up the middle
for a single but was left on base when the Mavs were retired in the first
inning.
      It was a different story for the Crescent offense.  Mauldin's Ace,
Ashley Bagwell showed her 2008 All-State form by striking out each the
first 10 batters she faced. Three innings of brilliant work were recorded
as 3 Lady Tigers came to the plate and three made the lonely walk back to
the dugout after K's in three successive innings before the lefthanded
Tiger leadoff hitter dropped an infield single with one out in the top of
the fourth.  The Speedster wearing gold and white stole second and third to
embody the only real scoring threat Crescent would mount against Bagwell
and her Lady Mav teammates  through the regulation game period of 7
innings. She would not score in the fourth inning, nor in the game, as
Bagwell struck out the next two batters to insure that dangerous runner
would be stranded.
      Mauldin's second, third, fourth, and fifth offensive innings were
only marginally better than Crescent's first four.  The only highlight
during that stretch came when Junior Kenzi Corn laced a single into
leftfield with two outs in the top of the third.  Trying to get into
scoring position with Co-Captain and offensive leader Dana Landers at the
plate, Corn broke for second on the first pitch but was caught stealing to
end the Mauldin third.  Landers and Stovall each drove balls well into the
Crescent outfield  in the fifth, but both ended in the gloves of Lady Tiger
outfielders.
      After some tongue lashing by the Crescent head Coach - the second
loudest and angriest person in the ballpark - The lady Tigers came out
swinging more aggressively in the bottom of the fifth but didnt reach first
successfully until a bloop single to lead off the home team's sixth inning
tipped off the outstretched glove of the diving Maverick shortstop Landers.
Bagwell struck out the next batter (to record an impressive 14 strikeouts
for the game) and  Mauldin Catcher Jordan Stovall pounced on a sacrifice
bunt and gunned the batter out at first, but not before the sacrifice
successfully advanced the runner to second.  Ist Baseman Elizabeth Renwick
then corralled a hard shot to first and stepped on the bag unassisted to
complete the inning and keep the Tigers scoreless on their home field
against  Mauldin's diamond divas.
      The Mavericks failed to get any offensive traction in the top of the
6th inning, but Landers would lead off the 7th with a "frozen rope" up the
middle for a single. She advanced to second and third on ground outs hit by
Stovall and Brianna Davis but was left on the doorstep of an insurance run
when the third out was recorded by the Lady tigers shortstop.
      The Lady Tigers tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh when
their lead-off hitter   punched a lazy liner back to Bagwell hat glanced
off her glove to allow the runner to reach first safely.  The Tiger's
pitcher then looped a fly to short center which was mishandled by Corn, but
the alert Junior scooped up the ball and fired to second from her knees to
record an out at second. Fly balls to third and short ended the 7th and
regulation game with the Lady Mavs winning 2-0.
      Being a scrimmage game that had lasted less than 1.5 hours to this
point, the coaches decided to play on in international tie-breaker fashion
to give their players some situational experience.  In the mavs 8th inning,
Senior captain Haley Register began the inning on second base and stole
third base with sophomore Elizabeth Renwick at the plate.  After fouling
off a handful of pitches, Renwick lined a bouncer to the Tiger's shortstop
who gunned an aggressively advancing Register at the plate. Brooke Barnhill
then smashed a drive back up the middle that glanced off the Tiger pitcher'
glove for a single.  Junior Weslyn Jones then laid down a beautiful
sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position, but the Mavs
failed to score when the third out was recorded on a bouncer back to the
pitcher who threw to first for the third out.
      The Tigers managed a score when the pre-positioned runner crossed the
plate on a throwing error by relief pitcher Amelia Gillentine on a grounder
back to the mound.  Gillentine then bore down and sandwiched a strikeout
between two infield groundouts to end the Crescent 8th.
      Mauldin's also failed to score a runner from third with one out in
the 9th when, after a base on balls was earned by Caroline Ford, the next
two batters kept the ball in the Tiger infield and were retired. Crescent
did however score again in their half of the ninth on a sacrifice bunt, a
walk, and a fielders choice.  Although it can be argued that Mauldin was
the winner in regulation, Crescent managed to tie the score in the extended
frames by playing effective "small ball" and capitalizing on scoring
opportunities without hits. 

In all it was an outstanding outing for the
Mavs starting pitcher, Bagwell, who struck out 14 and allowed only 2 hits
with no walks in 7 complete and shutout innings. Good hitting by Kenzi Corn
and timely power by Jordan Stovall were encouraging in the early going.
Landers, Davis, and Brooke Barnhill also contributed hits but were each
left on base as the lady Mavs failed to get the timely clutch hits
necessary to score runs - eerily similar to a problem they exhibited at
times during their generally successful 2008 campaign. 
      The Lady Mavs Varsity Softball team will open their regular season
schedule next Wednesday the 11th  at 4A #10 ranked Nations Ford in Fort
Mill, SC. and then play at home the following day against 3A upstart
Riverside  before participating in a Tournament at Simpsonville's Heritage
park on the weekend.  Come support your Preseason undefeated and #2 ranked
Lady Mavs as they embark on the regular season.

            GO MAVS !!!