(2008 - 2009) - Softball

vs. Spartanburg High @ Duncan Park,

Date: Mar. 20, 2009
Time: 07:00 PM
Location: Spartanburg High School

         R  H  E

MHS   14 15 0
SHS    2 5  3
WP:A.Bagwell(4-0)7k's,3 innings;Save K.Corn 4k's,2 innings
Top Hitters:K.Corn 2-2, 2b,3b;J.Lyles 1-2,2b;B.Davis 1-2;E.Renwick 1-2,3b;
D.Landers 2-4;J.Stovall 3-4,3rHR,3b;H.Register 1-2;Bk.Barnhill 1-2;
E.Edwards 1-2;A.Bagwell 1-4;J.Westmoreland 1-2,3b

      What a nice way to start a weekend ... watch a ball game in 60 degree
weather on a clear Friday evening in downtown Spartanburg.  The venue was
Duncan Park, former home of the Spartanburg Phillies minor league baseball
team.  The Opponent - Spartanburg High's lady Vikings.  With the Mauldin
Baseball teams playing on the old Phillies field below and the JV softball
team completing a clinic and a whuppin they put on (for) the Spartanburg JV
team, the Lady Mavs prepared to play their second Region contest of the
season.  In addition to the crisp evening to be spent with friends sharing
similar passion, it was refreshing  and it heightened the evening's
entertainment value that Mauldin's Lady Mavs came out swinging their bats
immediately and effectively.
      Three pitches into the first inning, leadoff hitter Kenzi Corn
slapped a low spinning bouncer along the third baseline.  The backhand play
was made cleanly by the lady Viking third baseman but she couldnt throw out
the speedy centerfielder.  After a strikeout, Corn stole second base and
took third when the catcher's throw was mishandled by the Spartanburg
shortstop and meandered into centerfield.  Sophomore Shortstop Dana Landers
brought Corn home and reached first on a Viking error.  Landers then stole
second and third and scored on a wild pitch.  Junior Catcher Jordan Stovall
drilled a single on the 8th pitch to leftfield  to keep the rally going.  A
Pinch runner (Sophomore Jessica Lyles) moved to third when Captain Haley
Register roped a single into right center.  Lyles scored and Register moved
to second on another wild pitch.  Register stole third a couple of pitches
later and scored on a passed ball before the last two outs were recorded
against the Lady Mavs in the first.  Only one could be scored and "earned
run", but the invisible scoreboard read 4-0 in favor of the Visiting Lady
Mavs !
      Likely relieved not to have to wait several innings for run support,
Mauldin's 2008 All-State pitcher, Ashley Bagwell took care of business in
the first inning against the Lady Vikings, striking out 2 in the first
before Catcher Carline Cash smashed a double into the right-centerfield
alley.  Cash excited the home fans briefly but no more would come of it as
Bagwell induced an easy groundout to first baseman Brianna Davis to end the
threat.  Bagwell was even sharper in the bottom of the second, striking out
the 5, 6, and 7 Viking hitters in order on 11 pitches.
      A half inning before, the Lady Mavs sent 11 batters to the plate ,
who collectively stroked 7 hits and scored 7 runs.  Senior leftfielder
Jenna Westmoreland started things off with a triple into the
leftcenterfield gap and scored on another triple by Junior Kenzi Corn into
the leftfield corner.  Brianna Davis and Dana Landers followed with
successive hard hit RBI singles before Jordan Stovall crushed a tall 2 run
homer over the leftfcenterfield fence.  Haley Register fought through an 8
pitch at bat to earn a walk and advanced to second when Brooke Barnhill
laced a single to left.  A Double steal put the ladies in scoring position
for Bagwell who lined a single into center to score Register. Frosh second
baseman Bria Barnhill drove her sister home with a groundout to the right
side of the infield before the side was retired a batter later.  After 2
complete the rout was seemingly on as the Mavericks led the Vikings 11-0.
      In the top of the third, Mavs coach Joseph Terry decided to get some
playing time for his capable reserves, but the Mauldin attack kept its foot
on the gas !  Sophomore Jessica Lyles led off the 3rd inning with a double
to left center and scored when sophomore Elizabeth Renwick clubbed a triple
into the rightfield corner. Landers drove Renwick across the plate with a
line drive back up the middle before the rally fizzled.  Mauldin 13,
Spartanburg 0.
      Under the encouraging guidance and positive reinforcement of their
coach, the speedy and athletic (although inexperienced) Lady Vikings would
not roll over and accept defeat without a fight.  After Bagwell struck out
the 8th hitter, Bethany Henderson bunted beautifully and easily outran the
throw of Mavs thrid baseman, Caroline Ford.  Leadoff hitter Yasmine Gault
repeated the feat with another bunt hit, this time between the plate and
mound...she too covered the 60 feet to first quickly enough to beat the
Bagwell's throw. Angered by the close call and upstart Lady Vikings,
Bagwell struck out the #2 hitter, but then had to face Spartanburg's
catcher and best hitter, Caroline Cash, again, but this time with two
runners aboard. After the plate battle went to full count, Cash drove the
ball into the left centerfield alley for a two RBI double.  She recorded
the third out trying to stretch the double into a triple.  A nice throw and
tag were made by Mauldin's Weslyn Jones and Caroline Ford to retire the
side...but not before the Lady Vikings were on the board - Mauldin 13
Spartanburg 2.
      Mauldin's offense went down quietly in the top of the fourth, unable
to capitalize on an error that put Bagwell on first and  walk issued to
Bria Barnhill.   The Mauldin Coaching staff then turned the ball over to
Junior relief pitcher Kenzi Corn to squelch any momentum the Lady Vikes may
have felt they had.  Corn did not disappoint.  She sandwiched two
strikeouts around a groundout to first baseman  Elizabeth Renwick in the
bottom of the fourth.  Similarly in Spartanburg's 5th and last at-bat , she
struck out the first two before giving up an infield hit to the speedy
Henderson, then rendered Henderson's hit meaningless when The Vikes leadoff
hitter popped out to Mauldin's Weslyn Jones in Leftfield. This was how Corn
recorded the save after the Mavs scored an additional insurance run in the
top of the fifth inning.  Jordan Stovall capped off her excellent evening
(3-4, 2 RBIs, HR)...with a triple !  With two outs and Stovall on third,
Senior rightfielder Ebony Edwards beat out an infield hit to score her
catcher and then hustled to third on an overthrow of first.  She was left
there when the third out was recorded, but not before Mauldin had upped it
lead to 14-2 ...which would hold and be the final score in favor of the
lady Mavs.
      Spartanburg has an ascending softball program but this game showed
that they have a ways to go.  They have several players with skills and
many with raw athleticism - their best seasons are ahead of them. The win
by Mauldin was important because it was a region game, but the
impressiveness of the Mauldin team's performance was not in the lopsided
victory over an overmatched opponent, but in knocking 15 hits in 5 innings
(including 6 of the extra-base variety),  in playing another team game of
errorless defensive softball, of the pitching staff combining to scatter 5
hits while walking none and striking out 11, of coming out ready to hit and
play well from the coin toss, and of showing depth and talent as 5 reserves
took the field and kept up the offensive and defensive pace. This
performance and experience will hopefully carry-over and bode well for the
rest of the Lady Mavs season.  We will find out soon enough as the Mauldin
Softballers host traditional Region powers and rivals Boiling Springs and
Hillcrest, Tuesday and Friday evening next week.  Next week will be a
better test and bigger challenge for the lady Mavs.  If they come out like
they did this nice Friday night, and hit like they have in 10 of their 16
innings this week, next week could
have a  hint of "special-ness"  to it.
Go Mavs !!!