(2010 - 2011) - Softball

vs. Boiling Springs High School,

Date: Mar. 08, 2011
Time: 06:00 PM
Location: Mauldin High School



     On a cool and overcast evening at Mauldin's Clayton Field, Coach
Joseph Terry and the Lady Mavs played host to the Lady Bulldogs of Boiling
Springs in a Clash of Titans. It would be an early season showdown between
Upstate rivals from 2010, Region 2 competitors, and the 3rd and 4th State
ranked 4A softball teams in 2011 !  The crowd was restless in anticipation,
the players anxious and excited to get the game underway.
      Freshman Amanda Storch took to the circle to face the top of the
Boiling Springs batting order. She induced the leadoff hitter to pop up to
Junior Bria Barnhill at second base for the first out.  After a walk to the
second batter, the third grounded to Sophomore Brianna Davis at third who
threw to Barnhill to force the second out at the middle sack.  Storch
struck out the Bulldog cleanup hitter and it was time for the Lady Mavs to
answer the bell on offense.  Davis belted a hard single up the middle and
took second when the ball was mishandled by the Bulldog centerfielder.
Davis took third on a passed ball - one of 4 unenticing pitches offered to
Senior captain Dana Landers who took the walk and promptly stole second
base.  An out and a walk later, with bases loaded, Freshman Emma Swearingen
laid down a squeeze bunt as Davis broke for home.  The force play was close
at the plate but Boiling Springs catcher dropped the ball to erase any
doubt that Mauldin had just taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
Disappointingly, the Lady Mavs took no further advantage with 1 out and
bases-loaded. Instead, a strikeout and groundout ended the inning but
Mauldin had drawn the important first blood in the contest.
      The Storch-Wagers battery for Mauldin did a super job overall on this
night - calling pitches, locations, and hitting spots with a mix of
fastballs and breaking pitches that kept the athletic Lady Bulldogs off
guard all game.  But in the top of the second, the Mauldin battery was
caught on its heels and allowed a bunt basehit to Janney Piazza leading
off....it wouldnt happen again in this contest !  Boiling Springs Coach
Sandy Martin tried to exploit the small ball game against the young Mauldin
defense since it looked like it had potential.  Two successive and
successful Sacrifice bunts indeed moved Piazza to third base, but they also
resulted in successive outs as Storch fielded both and threw to Barnhill
covering first just like they have practiced every weekday for six weeks.
Storch then struck out the next batter and Piazza walked back to the
visitors dugout alongside her coach Martin, still down a run and without
one of their own.
      The bottom of the second failed to generate too much excitement from
the numerous and noisy home fans except for a nice two out single up the
middle by Brianna Davis in the bottom of the second.  She reached second
base on a passed ball, but watched the third out made from that vantage
point.  In Mauldin's half of the third inning, Catcher Kaitlyn Wagers
singled into centerfield, but a pair of flyouts to short, witnessed by
Wager's runner, Nadine Hernandez, up close and personal failed to move the
fleet Freshman any closer to the plate
      Similarly Boiling Springs fared no better against Storch and her
teammates in the third, fourth or fifth innings.  A one out double by Page
Bolding netted nothing when followed by a groundout and a sharp lineout
both fielded by Mauldin's Davis at third base. Storch struck out 2 and
threw out another in the fourth, and struck out the side in the top of the
fifth frame. In Mauldin's half of the fourth inning, Madison Tracey led off
with a blast over the leftfielder's head for a double.  Jessica Lyles laid
down a nice sacrifice bunt to move Tracey to third, but some questionable
baserunning ended the inning for Mauldin as Tracey was gunned down at the
plate on a grounder to second base, then the batter attempted to take
second on the play at home and was erased on a good throw and tag from home
to short that completed an unusual double play and ended Mauldin's hopes of
scoring in the fourth.
      With the score still 1-0 for the good gals wearing white after 4 and
a half innings, the top of the Lady Mav order was due up to face the Ladies
in all black from West Highway 9 in Spartanburg County.  Dana Landers
belted the fourth pitch and second strike she saw on this night off the
leftcenterfield fence for a double. Freshman Deanna Sullivan trade places
with Landers by hitting her RBI double a little closer to centerfield.
Landers crossed the plate and high fived Wagers, who then spanked another
single moving Sullivan to third.  Hernandez came on to run again for Wagers
and stole second base uncontested to put both she and Sullivan into scoring
position. An out and a walk later deuces were wild for Sophomore first
baseman Madison Tracey.  Two strikes, two outs, two on, with the score only
2-0 with 2 innings to play, Tracey scalded a worm burner through the center
of the infield and into left-center that allowed both Sullivan and
Hernandez to score.  It was a very clutch piece of hitting, (reminiscent of
a similar hit only 22 degrees to the right that was the game and tournament
clincher in Simpsonville against Daniel) for the surging right-hander,
coming at a great time in this game and giving Mauldin and the A-train a
more comfortable 4-0 lead going into the 6th inning.
      Stroch yielded another double in the 6th to Boiling Springs'
centerfielder Alaynie Page, but she was stranded at second, having arrived
when there were two outs and watching Landers chase down the third out near
the baseline in short leftfield to end the Lady Bulldog chances of
decreasing their run deficit before the last inning.  Mauldin added an
insurance run in the bottom of the 6th when Bria Barnhill fought through a
dozen pitches to earn a walk (seems familiar too), was sacrificed to second
on a bunt by Davis, joined on the bases by Sullivan who walked, and scored
by Kaitlyn Wagers on her  third hit of this ballgame before the third out
was recorded against the Lady Mavs to end the sixth inning with the score,
Mauldin - 5,  Boiling Springs - 0.
      Barnhill figured prominently along with Storch in the retiring of the
Lady Bulldogs in the 7th inning.  Down to their last 3 outs, Piazza tried
to bunt her way onto base again but Storch fielded and gunned to Barnhill
for the first out.  The "fun sized" second baseman scooped up the next
batters' hard hit ground ball and solidly threw to Tracey for the second
out  and she cheered for Storch and wagers as they struck out the 3rd
batter of the inning for the last out of this very satisfying win.  On the
night, Storch scattered 3 hits, struck out 10, walked only one and shutout
the State's 3rd ranked team.  Its a feat she has recorded or bested a
handful of times in the young 2011 campaign, but none are as significant in
the important Region contests as this oneto date.
      The Young Lady Mavs pulled 'em up, played big, and got er did on the
Eve of Lent. They left too many runners in scoring position, but played
errorless defense, pitched and caught well, and got just enough big and
timely hits to capitalize an some of the opponents miscues and put up a
handful of unanswered runs. Boiling Springs need not be embarrassed, but
maybe its Mauldin who is getting more from its wealth of young talent ?