(2010 - 2011) - Softball

vs. Daniel High School,

Date: Feb. 26, 2011
Time: 07:00 PM
Location: Heritage Park, Simpsonville



     In the Snowball Classic championship game Mauldin would face 2A 2010 
state finalist Daniel and their 6 foot200 pound 2 sport star, Carley Hoover, 
whose Lion team defeated Walhalla ina tight 3-2 second semi-final.
      Amanda Storch toed the rubber for the Lady Mavs and struck out the
Daniel leadoff hitter before giving up a basehit to the second batter.
That baserunner got no farther than second base when Storch fielded a
bouncer and threw to Tracey at first for the second out and Sophomore
Brianna Davis went to the ground and threw from her knees to get the
cleanup hitter at first for the final out in the top of the first.
Hard-throwing Hoover started for the Lady Lions and struck out 3 Lady Mavs
in the first inning - interrupted only by a ground-rule double by Dana
Landers hit hard and bounced over the right-centerfield fence. Landers
stole third, but like the Daniel hitter minutes earlier, was left stranded
in a scoreless first inning .  Neither team managed to solve the opposing
pitchers in the second inning and the scoreless championship final went
into a cold and exciting third inning.  Landers and Davis turned ground
balls into outs with fine plays and throws to first and Storch struck out
the Lions leadoff hitter again to close the top of the third inning. Steely
Junior Bria Barnhill led off for Mauldin in the bottom of the third with a
basehit through the 3-4 hole.  Davis' sacrifice bunt moved Barnhill to
second and landers drove her home with a clutch basehit up the middle.  A
fielders choice out and a strikeout ended the Mauldin 3rd frame, but not
before the lady Mavs had taken a slim 1-0 lead over the tough Lady Lions.
      Daniel answered in the 4th inning when a misplayed bunt put a runner
on base.  A popout to Davis at third later, Big Carley Hoover came to the
plate and lifted an outside pitch over the right-centerfield fence to give
the Lady lions a 2-0 lead.  Daniel managed another hit in the inning but
not another score as Tracey and Barnhill hauled in outs to put their team
back on the offensive.  Pitchers dominated in the bottom of the 4th
(Hoover) and the top of the 5th (Storch) with each striking out a pair and
allowing one baserunner but no scores.  With time running out, the Lady
Mavs needed to score in the bottom of the 5th to keep their hopes of a
championship alive.  There could be no better lead-off hitter for Mauldin
in this situation than Bria Barnhill...and Mauldin's #1, with less than
half the mass of the hard throwing Daniel pitcher, battled fiercely through
a 10+ pitch at bat, fouling off pitch after pitch, until the count went
full and Hoover flinched... Barnhill earned the base on balls and the Lady
Mavs had their tying run on base with no outs.  An out later, Dana Landers,
with her third hit of the game - this time down the leftfield line, moved
Barnhill to third.  A strikeout put Mauldin down to its last out, but a
couple of pitches later, Hoover flinched again and Barnhill took advantage,
speedily crossing homeplate with the tying run while the Daniel catcher
scrambled for the passed ball.  Another strikeout ended the inning, and
with time expired and the score tied 2-2, the 6th frame would begin under
international tie-breaking rules and a runner on second base for each team.
      Daniel effectively sacrifice bunted their runner to third, and with
one out Miss Carley Hoover came to the plate.  Some might have walked the
big power hitter, but with confidence in Storch, Coach Joseph Terry elected
to pitch to her.  Hoover rocketed a shot toward Barnhill at second who
caught the drive and threw to third to try and double off the runner. The
ball was overthrown and as the runner re-tagged third and took off for the
plate, Brianna Davis calmly and quickly collected the ball at the dugout
fence and threw a strike to a stoic and solid Katelyn Wagers blocking the
plate and applying the tag to the stunned and flailing runner for the third
      Senior Krystina Simms became the runner at second base in the bottom
of the 6th and it would prove fortuitous. Freshman Emma Swearingen laid
down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Simms to third.  Amanda Storch bunted
with a safety squeeze play called by coach Terry, but the veteran Daniel
third baseman collected the ball and faked a throw to first to get Simms to
commit to the plate.  Simms broke and the throw went to the catcher ahead
of Simms.  Without hesitation Simms reversed directions and dove back to
third just ahead of a tag to her helmet.  Storch advanced to second amidst
the melee and the Lady Mavs had two runners in scoring position with one
out. At the plate for Mauldin was their tall and modelesque first baseman,
Madison Tracey.  Possibly nervous because she had not fared well in this
game heretofore against the Daniel pitching...but it didnt show.  Two
pitches into the at-bat, Tracey spanked a hard bouncer to the right of the
pitcher and just beyond the reach of the Daniel second baseman for a Game
and tournament winning RBI basehit.  Simms, who by staying alive against a
very heads-up defensive play, extended the inning and Tracey delivered the
final blow that scored Simms and claimed the Championship for the  Lady
Mavs in a 3-2 extra-inning thriller !
      Congratulations to the Lady Maverick Varsity Softball team -
Champions of the 2011 snowball Classic Softball tournament.  It was a
thrilling and unifying team win in which everyone contributed and should
rightfully be proud.  Mauldin has yet to lose a game in the early going of
this 2011 campaign, but in truth, the competition has not been on par with
what the young Lady Mavs will face in Region play...until the semifinals of
this Snowball tournament !  The Mauldin team showed grit and determination
in coming from behind three times against good pitching and quality
defenses in the two final games.  Chapin will figure deep into the 3A state
tournament at the end of the season just as Daniel will contend for the 2A
state championship.  Both of those teams dispatched 4A teams in pool play
to reach the Championship bracket.  Make no mistake, the 2011 Lady Mavs,
have room and the need to improve...and they are running low on time to do
it, but they have now notched a pair of quality wins and demonstrated that
they will be a force to be reckoned with in 4A region 2 - the toughest and
deepest in the State !  Congratulations to the Mauldin Lady Mav Varsity
softball team - Snowball Tournament Champions of 2011 !