(2008 - 2009) - Softball

vs. Byrnes ,

Date: Apr. 21, 2009
Time: 06:30 PM
Location: Mauldin High School

Mauldin 2009 4-A Region 2 Champs!!

Tuesday, April 21st: MHS 6 vs Byrnes HS 2

        R  H  E

BHS   2 10 2   
MHS   6 11 2
Hitters:K.Corn 1-4;B.Davis 1-3;D.Landers 2-3;
J.Stovall 1-2;H.Register 1-4;A.Bagwell 1-2;
B.Barnhill 1-2;J.Westmoreland 2-2;
A.Gillentine 1-4

      It would be a Glorious night for 4 Mauldin Senior Softball players.
Brittany Southard, Jena Westmoreland, Ebony Edwards, and Haley Register
were escorted with their parents and relatives to the Pitcher's mound of
Clayton Field and honored for their contributions and accomplishments.
They shared parting essays with their coaches and teammates that prompted
both laughs and tears from the Mauldin faithful.  After the pre-game
festivities it was time to change gears and get down to some serious
business. The State #6 ranked and Region 2 second place Byrnes Rebels  were
visiting first place and #1 ranked Mauldin with thoughts of avenging a 6-1
loss they suffered in Duncan at the hands of the Lady Mavs....and of
throwing the Region title race into question with a game left to play.
      In fact, the Lady Rebels came out swinging their bats aggressively
and lit up the scoreboard first with a run in the top of the opening frame.
Leadoff hitter Samantha Vaughn smacked the first pitch on a line towards
leftfield, but Mavs shortstop Dana Landers was able to get close enough to
the drive to snare it for the first out. Byrnes' Cheyenne Griffin then hit
a 1 out double to the right-centerfield fence.  After advancing to third on
a passed ball, Griffin was driven in by her shortstop, USC-bound Brianna
Hamilton, with a bloop single into leftfileld.  Mauldin Pitching Ace,
Ashley Bagwell then struck out the next two batters in 7 pitches to bring
her team to bat in the bottom of the first. In Mauldin's half of the first,
Junior Kenzi Corn reached on a Byrnes infield error, but the next two
batters hit a flyout and a fielder's choice groundout. With two outs and a
runner still on first, Junior Catcher Jordan Stovall was awarded first base
after being hit by a pitch, but the inning ended a batter later when
another groundout was recorded by Byrnes capable shortstop.
      In Byrnes half of the second, Morgan Purcell led off with a double
down the third base line and was advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt.
Bagwell dug in her heels again to get the next batter to pop to Amelia
Gillentine at first. The lanky righty then whiffed the 9th batter on three
pitches and left Purcell stranded next to her Coach at third.  In the
Mauldin half of the second, Mauldin's first batter again tested the Byrnes
shortstop and saw more evidence that the Rebel Senior was still on top of
her game this night. Next up, Bagwell was struck by a pitch and was
replaced at first by Senior Ebony Edwards.  Brooke Barnhill laid down and
almost beat out a sacrifice bunt that moved Edwards to second with 2 outs.
Then Senior Leftfielder, Jenna Westmoreland rose to the occasion and
drilled a single up the middle that scored the hustling Edwards and tied
the score at 1 apiece.
      In this see-saw affair, the lady Rebels would respond in the top of
the third when a familiar cast of characters reeled off three straight
hits.  Griffin knocked a double to left center with one out, Hamilton moved
her to third with a single through the 5-6 hole and then Junior outfielder
Tamara Hawkins punched an RBI single into right that scored Griffin and
re-established a lead for the visitors 2 -1 before Bagwell and her infield
retired the next two hitters to prevent further damage.  Needing to answer
and back at the top of their order, Mauldin hitters tried the Byrnes
shortstop two more times and were retired. Co-Captain Dana Landers then
drilled a double into left-center, but was abandoned in scoring position on
a groundout to second base to bring Byrnes, seemingly with momentum on
their side, back to the plate.
      2008 All-state Pitcher Bagwell was not going to yield any momentum to
the bottom of the Byrnes order in the fourth.  A pop-up to Senior captain
and third baseman, Haley Register, and two strikeouts meant she wouldnt
face the thick of Byrnes order until the 5th inning. Mauldin's 4th inning
was encouraging as some more bats warmed up but didnt prove significant on
the socreboard.  After two quick outs,  Bagwell, and Junior Right fielder,
Brooke Barnhill hit back to back singles to the left side.  Senior Jena
Westmoreland followed with a walk and the bases were loaded.  Byrnes set an
irregular defense against the versatile lefty hitter, Kenzi Corn.  The
Byrnes coach looked brilliant when Corn yanked the ball past the pulled-in
first baseman but was robbed on an unassisted putout made by a diving
second baseman to end the inning.  Mauldin 1 - Byrnes 2.
      The 5th inning would be scary and fateful for Bagwell and  Lady
Mavs....they had to face the Byrnes #2, 3, and 4 hitters  (combined 5 for 6
in the game thus far).  It was Bagwell's defense and fellow class of 2010
teammates that kept Byrnes in check in the top of the frame.  Griffin flied
out to Junior Brooke Barnhill in right, Junior Kenzi Corn charged hard to
catch a  fly in short center off the bat of Hamilton, and  Junior catcher
Jordan Stovall chased a foul to the backstop to retire Hawkins.  As
Mauldin's heart of the order came to the bat in the fifth, the big Mo was
with neither team but with the spectators enjoying a very well played game
on both sides.  This was the kind of game every fan longs to see, one that
matters, played between two good teams -  a nail biter, an edge of your
seater...a groan or gasp with every swing of the bat.  Mauldin's
Designated player/hitter, Brianna Davis, led off the top of the fifth with
a walk.  She was lifted for Flex player and freshman second baseman Bria
Barnhill as a runner who would represent the tying score.   Two pitches
into the next at-bat, the younger Barnhill would score from first on a
smashing double to the rightfield fence.  During an epic pitcher/batter
duel that went 10 pitches before being decided, Landers took third base on
a passed ball.  On the 10th pitch, Stovall lifted a strong fly ball into
centerfield which was caught but allowed Landers to score and Mauldin to
take its first lead of this game 3 to 2 on the Sacrifice fly.  Register
reached on an error behind Stovall and Amelia Gillentine drove a double
into rightcenter, but Register was gunned down at the plate by a pair of
well executed relay throws to put a stop to the Lady Mavs rally.
      Byrnes would threaten in the 6th, when Chastity Davis and Morgan
Purcell hit back to back singles and were bunted to third and second
respectively by Casey Owen.  Answering the call, Bagwell struck out the
next and watched senior third-baseman, Register, complete a 5-3 groundout
to stymie the Byrnes potential rally.  The Mauldin Varsity Softballers put
the game away in the bottom of the 6th when Senior leftfielder Westmoreland
singled and stole second base before Corn singled back up the middle to put
runners on the corners.  Brianna Davis singled to right to score
Westmoreland and Landers hit a line drive sacrifice fly to the leftfielder
that scored Corn.  Stovall hit a single to left and the senior captain
(Register) delivered Davis with an RBI base hit over the shortstop's head
and out of reach, before the inning's third out was recorded on a groundout
to second.  At the end of the sixth, the Lady Mavs had added three runs to
their tally and held a more comfortable 4 run lead going into the seventh.

      The top of the seventh could not go into the books without some
drama, as befits the "game of the week"  that this title clash had been.
Bagwell would again face the top of the Byrnes order.  For the 4th time in
the game she retired the rebel's leadoff hitter, this time by strikeout.
But Griffin and Hamilton would follow with back to back singles to bring
the Rebels dugout and sideline to a loud pleading fever-pitch.  Bagwell
remained unfazed and unmoved by the frenzy and struck out the last two
batters in succession to end the game in favor of the Lady Mavs 6-2 on a
memorable and decisive Senior Night.  Indeed the Mauldin Softball team had
clinched the region title with a  three game advantage over both Byrnes and
Hillcrest (since Hillcrest was losing to Dorman on this same night) with
one region game to play.  This was a great team win, for every Lady Mav
starting batter contributed at least one hit, and two more upgraded the
offense with their running ability and scored runs.  Congratulations to the
Mauldin Lady Mav Softballers and especially the Seniors (Register,
Westmoreland, Edwards, and Southard) for winning their second consecutive
Region Two 4A championship.  Next up is Hillcrest in Simpsonville on Friday
at 7:00 pm and a rain-out makeup game at Wren on Monday.  Then it is into
the playoffs where the Lady Mavs are assured to play at home throughout the
first two (District) rounds.   Keep up the Good Work Lady Mavs, you have
accomplished one of your lofty goals for this season, but several more
await ...