(2008 - 2009) - Softball

vs. Nation's Ford High ,

Date: Apr. 02, 2009
Time: 05:30 PM
Location: Mauldin High School

         R  H  E

NFHS    2  2  1
MHS     3  4  3
WP: A.Bagwell(7-0)12k'a
Hitters:D.Landers 1-3;A.Bagwell 1-3,2b;H.Register 1-2;B.Barnhill 1-2
LADY MAVS SURVIVE A CLOSE ONE, BUT REMAIN UNDEFEATED, BEAT
NATIONS FORD FALCONS 3-2

      Under a dark cloudy sky that indicated the weather might prevail at
any minute, Mauldin hosted the Nations Ford Lady Falcons in a rematch of a
close game played in Fort Mill to open the season (won 3-1 by Mauldin)
Thursday evening.  Mauldin's Ace Ashley Bagwell toed the Rubber for the
Lady Mavs in the lightly wet mist falling on Mauldin's Clayton Field.  The
Lady Falcons, formerly ranked in the 4A top 10 softball teams, made the
long trip by bus and surely had revenge on their minds. They wouldnt draw
any blood in the top of the first as Bagwell struck out two and Senior
captain Haley Register gunned down a third to retire the side.  The Lady
Mavs were no more impressive in the first inning either as the tall Falcons
pitcher (#9 - Holeman) sandwiched a strikeout between a 5-3 groundout and a
hard but caught liner to short to retire the Lady Mavs in order in the
bottom of the first.
      The second inning began better for the Lady Falcons as Jessica Bonham
looped a lead-off single into short right-field. Register threw out a quick
slapper for the first out, but allowed the runner to move to second.
Bagwell recorded a strikeout on the next batter but she reached first and
Bonham took third on a passed ball third strike. Jennifer Bonham then stole
second uncontested as the Mavs played it straight and safe, not willing to
allow the Lady Falcons to draw first blood and score from third in the
event of a miscue.  With two runners in scoring position and only one out,
Bagwell bore down and struck out the big first baseman on 4 pitches and got
the shortstop to fly out to Mauldin's first baseman, Amelia Gillentine in
foul territory for the third out.  Mauldin failed to inspire or threaten in
their half of the second either.  with one out Register walked and took
second on a passed ball, but a flyout and a groundout ended the threat.
Still 0-0 after 2 complete.
      2008 All-state Mavs pitcher, Ashley Bagwell kept up her end of the
bargain in the top of the third and fourth innings, striking out 3, and
fielding the front end of two mound to first groundouts.  Sophomore
shortstop and co-captain Dana Landers fielded, threw to first, and recorded
the third out of the fourth to keep the Lady Falcons scoreless. The Mauldin
bottom of the third inning would be their best of this game... Brooke
Barnhill started things off with a base on balls, then moved to third on a
wild pitch and a passed ball issued while Jenna Westmoreland was at the
plate.  The senior leftfielder delivered the RBI with a grounder to short
and was safe at first when the short-hopping throw to first was mishandled
by the Lady Falcon on the gateway bag.      Westmoreland promptly stole
second with a nice slide to the outside of the base to avoid a tag.  After
a strikeout, Westmoreland stole third base, but watched the second out
recorded on a grounder to second.  Landers delivered the run with a single
to leftfield.  Landers stole second base and a pitch later Junior catcher
and homerun leader, Jordan Stovall was beaned in the right leg to put two
on base, with two outs and two in.  Captain Register kept up her fine
hitting of late and kept the inning and scoring alive by slugging a single
into right centerfield to score Landers.  pinch runner, Weslyn Jones took
third on the throw to the plate and Register moved to second, but the
inning would end with the two of them in scoring position as the next
batter popped out harmlessly to second base.  Mauldin 3 - Nations Ford 0.
      In Mauldin's 4th inning, Bagwell showed she knows what to do with a
bat in her hand too by stroking a screamer down the third base line and
into the leftfield corner for a leadoff double.  Two outs later with
Bagwell still on second, leadoff hitter Kenzi Corn earned a walk, but again
the inning ended with a routine fly ball to the Falcons second baseman.
Nations Ford was not going to roll over and let Mauldin have this game
without a fight.  The lady Falcons werent having a potent offensive
evening, but they showed their grit, scrappy determination, and small-ball
abilities when Jennifer Bonham opened the 5th inning with a hard worm
burner to second that got under a startled Bria Barnhill's glove.  The
Falcons #7 batter put down a nice sacrifice bunt to advance the runner
before the Falcon shortstop and 8th hitter drilled a single through the 3-4
hole to score the younger Bonham sister.  Credit Barber with an RBI, but
she wouldnt score herself because senior third baseman Register corralled a
grounder to third and looked as though she was positioning to throw out the
batter, but instead caught Barber too far off second with a crisp throw to
Bria Barnhill covering second on the play and applying the tag for the
second out.  Uncharacteristically, Bagwell then had a mortal few minutes
and walked two batters and threw two consecutive wild pitches (normally a
months worth for the lanky junior) to allow Hammond (who had reached first
on the fielders choice) to score.  Bagwell regrouped and struck-out the
Falcon #3 hitter for the third time this game to finally retire the side,
but not before the Lady falcons had closed the gap...Mauldin 3 - Nations
Ford - 2.
      The Mauldin Lady Softballer's 5th and 6th innings didnt do anything
to contradict an uneasy feeling that the momentum had swung to the visitors
in Black and red.  A groundout, a pop-out, and a K made for a quick Mauldin
5th.  Two infield flyouts into the sixth, Junior rightfielder Brooke
Barnhill looped a single just inside the leftfield foul line for a single,
but a missed steal sign and a 5 pitch strikeout to her teammate ended the
Mavs offensive opportunities on this evening.  That is because in the
Nations ford 6th and 7th innings, Bagwell was back into form and in control
- striking out 4 of the last 6 batters and allowing leftfielder Jenna
Westmoreland to record a fly ball putout in the 6th and register to close
the game on a groundout to third which she fired to first baseman
Gillentine to seal the victory 3-2 in 6 and a half innings for the lady
Mavs.
      This was a not-so pretty win on a not-so pretty April evening.  The
lady Mavs were held fairly well in check by the Brunette Falcon hurler,
recording only 4 hits and 2 walks.  Mauldin benefitted from 3 Nations Ford
errors in the third inning and were only slightly less charitable in the
5th with two of their own.  Despite a momentary lapse with two outs in the
fifth, Bagwell pitched another fine game, striking out 12 and allowing only
2 hits and 2 walks.  Nonetheless, this was a win against a quality opponent
in less than ideal playing conditions, keeping the lady mavs undefeated and
reasonably confident going into next week's Spring Break Azalea tournament
in Summerville beginning Monday at 12:30 pm against West Ashley. The Lady
Mavs have played tough against two tough upstate opponents this week. Next
week they will have the opportunity to prove to some mid and lower state
teams that the Lady Mavs are for real and ready to take care of unfinished
business in 2009.  Good luck in Summerville Mauldin Softballers - Keep up
the good work !