(2010 - 2011) - Softball

vs. Seneca High School,

Date: Mar. 23, 2011
Time: 06:00 PM
Location: Seneca High School


      After a long busride to the shores of Lake Keowee in Oconee County,
The undefeated Mauldin Varsity Softball team warmed up in preparation for a
non-region contest against the 3A Lady Bobcats of Seneca High School under
cloudy skies.  Maybe "warmed up" is understated...  The Lady Mavs came out
with their bats afire in the top of the first !  Bria Barnhill led off with
a single into leftfield, Brianna Davis Doubled into rightcenter to score
Barnhill, Dana Landers singled home Davis, and Kaitlyn Wagers singled in
Landers.  With 3 runs across and only one out, Amanda Storch reached on a
Lady Cat error and Emma Swearingen followed with a single up the middle to
move Nikki Smith (running for the pitcher, Storch) to third.  Madison "Big
Hit" Tracey then crunched a double to the fence in left-centerfield that
plated both Smith and Swearingen.  An out later, Barnhill singled for the
second time in the first inning ...this time adding an RBI as Tracey scored
the 7th run of Mauldin's first inning.
      Stunned, the Lady Cats took their turns in the batters box in the
bottom of the first.  To their credit they came up swinging.  Seneca's
leadoff hitter grounded out back to the mound, then the next two batters
swung but missed a half dozen times and retuned to their dugout as Amanda
"A-train" Storch strikeout victims.  Seneca's Shortstop (Reynolds) managed
a double off Storch with an out in the bottom of the second, but Storch and
her infield mates, Davis, Landers, and Tracey, made plays and Ks in both
the bottom of the second and third innings that left the baserunner
stranded and alone through 3 innings of play.
      Freshman rightfielder, Deanna Sullivan managed a hit for the Lady
Mavs in the top of the second, but similarly she was left on the bases as
three teammates hit flyball outs in the Mauldin second frame. Sophomore
Madison Tracey hit a one out pitch nicely out of reach into
right-centerfield in the top of the third, but she was thrown out at second
trying to stretch the hit into another double. an out later, the Mauldin
Varsity Softballers still held a 7-0 lead but failed to build on it during
their last two at-bats.
      In the Top of the fourth, Brianna Davis crushed a double to the
left-centerfield fence with one out to spark her team.  Landers followed
with a single down the third baseline.  Davis and Landers each moved up a
base on a groundout to short, but Kaitlyn Wagers cashed in the duo with a 2
RBI single into short leftfield and the Lady Mav lead was extended to 9-0.
Meanwhile, in the bottom of the fourth, Storch continued to cruise -
economically hitting her spots and recording a pair of strikeouts.  The
Bobcat pitcher singled into left-centerfield and might have had a double
but Freshman left-fielder Emma Swearingen hustled into the gap and cut-off
the bounding hit, limiting the batter to a single base. She moved no
further when the next batter fouled a Storch screwball high up and behind
the plate. It was located and caught by Wagers for the third out.  In the
top of the 5th, Swearingen led-off with another single up the middle.  The
freshman leftfielder then watched  from 1st base as the bobcat third
baseman recorded two successive outs - the first on an infield fly and the
second on a fine diving catch to her left to rob Senior Captain Jessica
Lyles of a basehit.  Seneca's Wilson might have recorded all three outs,
but a throwing error put Barnhill on base behind Swearingen with a pair of
outs. A groundout to short meant that Mauldin was going to have to play
another inning and score another run to get an early start on the return
busride.  After 4 1/2 complete, Mauldin led 9-0 when coach Joseph Terry,
patted his Ace on the shoulder and turned the ball over to Freshman
Reliever Nadine Hernandez to close out the win against a team he coached
successfully for 3 seasons before coming to Mauldin High School in 2008.
      Hernandez did not show the same top form she did in Monday's 1 hit
performance against Wade Hampton.  She gave up a pair of walks in the
bottom of the 5th which would come to nothing as Hernandez struck out one
and prompted a pair of groundouts to Barnhill and Tracey on the right side
of the infield to close the 5th frame. In the top of the 6th, Landers
led-off with a scalded double into the leftfield corner and scored on a
single up the middle off the bat of Dee Dee Sullivan.  Sullivan scored on
Wagers 3rd hit of the evening, notching for Wagers her 4th RBI of the
contest as well. A batter later, Seneca's third baseman turned a double
play on a sharply hit ball to her base - she fielded it, tagged the runner
closest to her while she was too far from safe contact with the bag.
Quickly turning and throwing hard to first she completed the double play. A
groundout later, the path for Seneca's softballers would include scoring 2
runs in the bottom of the sixth or the mercy rule would be invoked and the
game ended.  In that 6th frame for the home team a basehit followed by a
walk woke up the Seneca crowd and gave them something better than
criticizing the umpire to raise their voices about. During the next at-bat
the Bobcat runner on second inexplicably tried to steal third base (down
11-0 ?), but she was cut down by Kaitlyn Wagers with an excellent throw to
Davis at third for the first out.  After a flyout to Sullivan in
rightfield, another base on balls was issued by Hernandez , then a double
into right centerfield scored the two runners who had collected free passes
and the Lady Cats had earned the right to play another inning.  The Seneca
rally ended when Bria Barnhill dove into the 3-4 hole and threw to first
from her knees to steal a basehit from the Lady Bobcat second baseman  that
would have driven home a third run for the ladies in Navy and yellow had it
gotten through.
      In the top of the seventh, Nikki Smith led off for the lady Mavs and
battled through the count to earn a base on balls.  Barnhill singled for
the third time in the game and moved Smith to second.  The pair advanced on
a Bobcat passed ball, and Smith crossed the plate as a ground ball out was
made by the Seneca shortstop  and two more meek outs were made by the Lady
Mavs, but not before they had increased their point spread again to 10
runs.  All that remained was for Hernandez and her teammates to post 3 more
outs against the home team and board the bus for the return journey.  It
didnt come quickly or easily as the Lady Cats showed they have no quit in
them.  A walk and a hit put two on with no outs.  A long fly ball almost to
the centerfield fence was tracked down and caught over the shoulder of
Nikki Smith for the first out.  A bouncer back to Hernandez was corralled
and thrown to first in time to get the runner for the second out.  With two
baserunners in scoring position, Hernandez got a grounder to the solid left
side of her infield, where Brianna Davis scooped it up and gunned to first
for the final out.  Mauldin had pulled out another 10 run victory in fine
fashion.  On this night the lady Mavs were errorless in the field and
Caliente at the plate.  7 Lady Mavs had 2 or more hits. Mauldin knocked a
total of 17 as a team for the game.  At least one run was scored from every
position in the batting order - Congratulations Mavericks !