(2008 - 2009) - Softball

vs. Clover HS,

Date: May. 02, 2009
Time: 06:30 PM
Location: Mauldin High School

Game 2 Monday, May 4: MHS 7 - Clover HS 1
       R  H  E
CHS  1  6  3
MHS  7  7  0
 
WP:A.Bagwell(16-3)14k's
Hitters:B.Barnhill 1-3;D.Landers 1-3,2b;
J.Stovall 1-3,2rHR;B.Davis 1-3,2b;
A.Bagwell 2-3;J.Westmoreland 1-3
SECOND  INNING  RALLY  PROPELS  LADY  MAVS  TO  2ND  ROUND
PLAYOFF  VICTORY  VERSUS  CLOVER,  7-1


      Under dark skies Monday night at Mauldin's Clayton field, the Lady
Mav varsity Softball team hosted the Blue Eagles of Clover High School from
District 3 in a second round, winners bracket, District Playoff matchup.
After defeating Lancaster last week, Clover made the hour and a half bus
trip Southwest to Mauldin  with intentions of outslugging the states #1
ranked and Districts top seeded Lady Mavs.  The Blue Eagles looked tall,
dark, and confident in their royal and black road uniforms during batting
warmups.  The Lady Mavs looked equally fetching and ready in their home
whites (a different uniform choice might have been made by those who have
to launder them after a wet and muddy game) and sharper taking infield in
the steady but light drizzle.
      In less than ideal pitching conditions, Lanky Mauldin pitching ace,
Ashley Bagwell, struck out the first two Clover batters in the top of the
first, then plunked the third hitter on the foot as the drizzle became
light rain. Sophomore Shortstop Dana Landers caught an infield fly to end
the Visitors offensive half inning.   With one out in the bottom of the
first, Junior rightfielder Brooke Barnhill drew a walk and trotted to first
on a baseline that was glistening as the light rain became a steady
downpour.  A Rain delay was called to allow the increasingly hard
rainshower to pass.  After less than a half hour, Coach Joseph Terry, with
help from his fellow and attending football coaches, Ron Barnhill, Steve
Frady, Sarah Hall, and the Lady Mav team, spread and raked adequate Turfuss
to markedly improve the playing surface so the game could resume as the
shower moved through Mauldin towards Greer.  After the less than 45 minute
delay, the Mauldin offense wouldnt move the elder Barnhill past second as
the next two batters Grounded out to short and popped out to the catcher
respectively.
      Bagwell walked her opposite pitcher to lead off Clover's second
frame, but consecutive first pitch sacrifice bunt attempts by the Blue
Eagles were popped up to Bagwell and her catcher, Junior Jordan Stovall,
before Senior Captain Haley Register fielded a grounder and fired to Junior
Amelia Gillentine at first to retire the side in the top of the second
inning. Leading off the bottom of the second for the Lady Mavs, 8th Grader
Brianna Davis laced a rope to leftcenterfield for a double and was
sacrificed over to third on a bunt by Gillentine.  Bagwell was next to the
plate and contributed to hers and her Mauldin teammates cause with a shot
up the middle for an RBI single, scoring Davis.  Bagwell's runner, Weslyn
Jones took second on a wild pitch and moved to third on Register's grounder
to short.  The Blue Eagles middle infielder picked up the ball and threw
low to first - it was not handled and bounced to the sideline fence. Next
up, Senior leftfielder Jena Westmoreland laid down a bunt that put the
Clover pitcher in a bind. Concerned about Jones scoring from third she
looked twice to the third base line and then had no chance to get the fleet
#7 at first. A bases loaded bouncer back to the pitcher resulted in a
fielders choice forceout of Jones at the plate but put Junior Kenzi Corn at
first.  With two outs and the bases still loaded, Brooke Barnhill slapped a
ball into the hole that was fielded by the Clover shortstop, but with
Westmoreland running and sliding hard to third and both Corn and Barnhill
too quickly arriving at 2nd and 1st, the shortstop had no play - Barnhill
had driven in Register for the Lady Mavs second run with an infield single.
Bases were loaded still with the powerful heart of the Mauldin order coming
to the plate and on-deck circle.  With a 2 and 1 count, Landers launched an
arcing drive into the wet sky to deep centerfield, over and right of the
Clover outfielder... one foot longer or two feet higher and it was a grand
salami, but the result was nonetheless exciting as the fly clanged the
sheet metal ad on the fence while Westmoreland, Corn, and Barnhill crossed
the plate, Landers pulled up at second, and the scoreboard counted 3, 4,
and 5 runs for the Lady Mavs. The third out was recorded in the infields
with Landers aboard, but not before Mauldin had powered their way to a 5 -
0 lead after 2 complete.
      The Blue Eagles proved scrappy enough in the top of the third to load
the bases as they gamely tried to mount a comeback on offense.  Bagwell
struck out the 9th batter then gave up a walk to the tall leadoff slapper.
Blue eagle centerfielder Sarah Thomas then got Clover's first hit of the
night with a single to left.  Bagwell bore down and struck out the next
batter before clover catcher Jaclyn Poole singled to load the bases with
two outs.  A hustling and alert Mav centerfielder Kenzi Corn charged hard
to retrieve the blooper behind second base to prevent the runner from
attempting to score.  The 5th batter then hit a sharp grounder to second
base where Freshman Bria Barnhill collected it and threw to Gillentine to
end the threat without any run damage to the Mauldin lead.
      The Mauldin halves of the third and fourth innings were uninspiring
as Lady Mavs went down in order in the two frames, unsuccessfully testing
the Clover infield in the 3rd and its outfield in the 4th.  The
"never-give-up" Lady Eagles of Clover would load the bases in their top of
the fourth, salting a couple of hits between some uncharacteristic walks
issued by Bagwell.  Landers retired the leadoff batter with a textbook
field and throw to first play from short.  A hit sandwiched between two
walks loaded the bases for the top of the Clover order. A 7 pitch walk to
the tall leadoff batter brought home the Blue Eagles first run of the
night.  Then seemingly Bagwell changed gears !  In another 7 pitches she
had struck out the Lady eagles #2 and #3 hitters and retired the side.  In
the 5th inning, Clover catcher Poole ripped her second hit of the game up
the middle to lead the inning off, but the next three ladies in Black and
Blue all became 3 or 4 pitch strikeout victims to the Mauldin battery of
Bagwell and Stovall.  Similarly, in the Clover sixth, Bagwell issued a walk
then clamped down on the top of the Lady Eagles order with 3 straight Ks.
      The bottom of the fifth for Mauldin was a different story.  Brooke
Barnhill reached first on another throwing error by the Clover shortstop.
With protection from Landers at the plate, Barnhill stole second and third
base  successfully.  Landers was eventually retired on a tough inside
called strike, bringing a hungry Stovall to the plate.  With the count at 2
and 2, the muscular catcher crushed a 20 story towering blast over Clayton
Field's scoreboard to score Barnhill and allow herself a leisurely jaunt
around the bags.  The next two batters went down in order with a strikeout
and an infield fly, but not before Mauldin had assumed a 6 run lead over
the stunned but game squad from the Charlotte suburbs South of the border.
Clover made a pitching change for the sixth inning but Mauldin would not
score again even though Bagwell led off with her second hit and the Clover
infield made its third error of the game. A fielder's choice groundout and
pop-ups to the pitcher and shortstop sent the Lady Eagles back onto the
offensive for their last chance to stay in the district Playoffs winners
bracket.
      Bagwell recorded her 13th strikeout of the game on the first Lady
Eagle up in the top of the 7th.  Hot hitting Jaclyn Poole then smacked the
first pitch she saw into right centerfield to give the Clover dugout a
reason to continue to loudly cheer.  Clover's new pitcher, Samantha Peters
then looped a single into left but was picked off of first two pitches
later by Stovall and Gillentine for the second out.  Down to their last
out, but with Bagwell determined to finish this playoff game (one in which
the conditions were less than ideal and the umpire squeezed her strike
zone) with an exclamation point, the Clover team could only watch and think
about a rematch as the Lanky Mauldin pitcher struck out her 14th batter of
the game. The Lady Mavs of Coaches Joseph Terry and Sarah Hall had thus won
their 20th game of the 2009 campaign and are sitting in the driver's seat
of the Region 2 playoff bracket.  Their next playoff game is scheduled for
Wednesday evening at Clayton Field in Mauldin...weather permitting.  It
should not be surprising if either or both of the following should
occur...a rematch with Clover should the Blue Eagles emerge from the losers
bracket... and/or... a postponement or delay of Wednesday's game in the
event that rain have already or will cause postponement of either of two
games that must occur before the district finals can be played.  Stay tuned
to GoMavs.net  for details of times and opponents.  In the meantime,
congratulations are in order and overdue to the Lady Mavs for a fine TEAM
win in adverse conditions to advance to the district championship game.
Another flawless defensive performance and a 5 hit, 5 run rally in the
second carried this day when the battling pitcher needed a little help.
Nice Job - Go Mavs !!!