(2008 - 2009) - Softball

vs. Byrnes High,

Date: Apr. 13, 2009
Time: 06:00 PM
Location: Byrnes High School

Monday, April 13th: #1 MHS 6 - #6 Byrnes HS 1
           R  H  E
MHS    6  11 1
BHS    1  5  0
Hitters:K.Corn 1-2,3BB;B.Davis 1-4;
D.Landers 3-3,2b;J.Stovall 1-4,2b;
A.Gillentine 3-4,2b,3b;A.Bagwell 1-2,2b;B.Barnhill 1-3

      Under dark clouds, through mist and drizzle,  The Mauldin Varsity
Softball team made up its rained out away contest against the Byrnes Rebels
Monday night.  This matchup featured the top two teams in the Region, tied
for the lead in the standings - neither team having a region loss and both
with a dozen wins or more to only one loss over the entire season.  At the
start of the game, the Lady Mavericks were ranked 2nd in the state and the
Rebels ranked 5th. This would be another Clash of Titans and a very
important game for both teams.
      Byrnes Sophomore pitcher, Cheyenne Griffin, gave up a single to
Fellow Sophomore and Summer teammate, Dana Landers, in the top of the
first, but recorded the third out on a high fly to right.  Mauldin's Junior
Pitcher, Ashley Bagwell returned the favor, allowing a single by Griffin in
the bottom of the first, but leaving her stranded on second as she threw
out the Byrnes #3 hitter and struck-out the cleanup batter to end the first
      The second inning was only a little better than the first for the
Lady Mavs.  With one out, Junior Amelia Gillentine singled to right and
pushed to second when Bagwell was hit by the next pitch. Junior Brooke
Barnhill laid down a nice sacrifice bunt to move Gillentine and Bagwell to
third and second respectively, but they were left scoreless when Griffin
induced a fly-out to left to end the Mauldin threat.  Byrnes went down more
noisily in the bottom of the second, starting with a flyout to Freshman
Bria Barnhill at second for the first out.  Not to be outdone by her
younger sister, Brooke Barnhill then robbed Morgan Purcell of a hit or more
with a great diving catch in right-center field for the second out.
Landers recorded the third out in much more routine fashion, fielding a
grounder and throwing to Gillentine at first to retire the side.
      The top of the third would prove a watershed for the Lady Mavs as
junior Kenzi Corn led off with a single, followed by another into
left-center by Brianna Davis.  Two pitches into Landers' at-bat, Corn and
Davis successfully executed a double steal to put the pair into scoring
position with the Mavs leading hitter at the plate.  Landers would not
disappoint - she crushed the third pitch into the leftfield corner for a
double that scored Corn and Davis.  Junior Jordan Stovall then traded
places with Landers by hitting another double, this one to right center.
Senior captain Haley Register then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move
Stovall's courtesy runner, Jessica Lyles, to third.  Next, Amelia
Gillentine hit into a fielders choice that resulted in Lyles being thrown
out at the plate. She atoned however two pitches later when Bagwell laced a
double into left-center...Gillentine hustled around the bases and was waved
home by Coach Joseph Terry, sliding headfirst ahead of the throw to score
Mauldin's fourth run of the inning and contest before the third out was
recorded minutes later.
      The Lady Rebels came out swinging in the third also, determined not
to let this home game and first place get away from them. Catcher Jordan
Atkinson led off with a single through the 5-6 hole past a lunging Register
and diving Landers.  Mauldin's all-Azalea tournament pitcher Ashley Bagwell
then struck out the next two hitters before facing her opposite and summer
teammate Griffin again.  The Byrnes pitcher laced a single down the
rightfield line to move Atkinson's pinch runner to third. Byrnes got on the
board a batter later when senior Brianna Hamilton doubled into left center,
but the confident Byrnes shortstop and her pitcher would be left on second
and third as Bagwell recorded her 4th strikeout of the young game to end
the  Rebel scoring threat at 1.  Mauldin 4- Byrnes 1 after 3 complete.
      The Byrnes pitcher got the first Mauldin batter out in the top of the
4th before hitting a rough patch where, pitching carefully to the top of
the lady Mav order, she walked 3 consecutive batters.  The first was caught
attempting to steal second and a strikeout ended the potential rally with
no further damage to the home team. Bagwell in the bottom of the 4th got a
defensive gem from her shortstop and co-captain Landers, who made a diving
stop in the hole and threw the runner out from one knee.  The Junior
pitcher then showed her appreciation by striking out the next two
batters...and then two more in the Byrnes 5th as she retired the Rebels in
order over the two inning stretch.  Mauldin's 5th inning was more
productive however.  With one out, Gillentine doubled, Bagwell walked, and
Brooke Barnhill bunted for an infield hit to load the bases.  Griffin then
got the Mauldin 9th batter to ground into a fielder's choice force out at
the plate, but then walked Corn for the second time in the game to push
Bagwell's courtesy runner, Weslyn Jones across the plate with the Lady Mavs
5th run.  There might have been more, but Byrnes second baseman, Katie
Sloan, made a diving catch of a rope off the bat of Davis for the third
      Not satisfied with a 4 run cushion, Landers led off the Mauldin 6th
with a line drive hit up the middle.  Two outs later, the Lady Mavs other
hitting star on this night, Amelia Gillentine, scorched a triple into the
rightfield corner to score Landers and make the score Mauldin 6 - Byrnes 1.
Never quitting, the Lady Rebels in Grey Red and Royal, made another push
towards a rally when hot-hitting Cheyenne Griffin drove a double down the
third base line to lead things off in the bottom of the 6th.  Bagwell
struck out the next batter and got an assist when Byrnes Tamara Hawkins hit
a shot back up the middle.  Bagwell got the tip of her glove on the drive
and thus routed it towards alert second baseman, Bria Barnhill who threw to
first for the second out.  After a walk, Kenzi Corn caught a well hit fly
in centerfield to squelch the rally with runners on 1st and third.
      Aside from a third walk to Corn in the top of the 7th, the Lady Mavs
went quietly and would take up their leather to try and thwart the Lady
Rebels' last chance to try to surmount Mauldin's 5 run lead.   Bagwell
struck out the Rebels first baseman for the first out then walked the
Byrnes catcher.  But Sloan then drilled a short-hopper to Gillentine at
first who corralled the grounder, stepped on the base, called for a tag and
threw to Landers at second.  Landers blocked the base and applied the tag
to complete the double play and cement the important region victory for the
lady Mav Softballers.
      By the end of the game, the weekly polls had placed Mauldin at the
top of its 4A state rankings and moved Byrnes to 6th.  This fact is
complimentary but means much less in mid-April than in mid-May.  More
important was the win just achieved by the Mauldin team and coaches over
their Region 2 rival  and closest pursuer.  It was also a good start to a
big week that will see the Lady Mavs play a Region foe each day !  Tuesday
, Spartanburg visits Clayton field for a home contest, then the Lady Mavs
travel to the Dorman campus on Wednesday.  Thursday will see a make-up game
at home against Hillcrest, followed by another road game Friday in Boiling
Springs against the Bulldogs.   The Mauldin Softballers are in the lead
down the backstretch  but will have to stay focused, strong, and together
through the turn and into the homestretch.  Congratulations on a convincing
win and good luck the rest of the week Lady Mavs - we are proud of you !