What looked like a blowout win on Thursday night at Garrison Field for Charlie’s Wholesale became a nailbiter in the end, but Charlie’s gang was able to prevail 9-7 over the Chick-Fil-A Chicks.
But not without a bases-loaded scare.
Charlie’s held leads of 2-1, 6-1 and 9-1 going into the sixth when the Chicks rallied for a five-spot as the relief pitching for the Wholesaler’s struggled with control before finally recording the last out to preserve the win.
“Got to throw strikes and we didn’t,” said Charlie’s manager Travis Fair. “We did just enough to get a win. We didn’t hit real well, we are used to scoring a lot of runs. Nine runs for us is not a good hitting night.”
The reason may have been the pitching of Corie Schuettler, who matched her opposite number Haley Fair for two and two-thirds innings before running into trouble.
Charlie’s got two runs in the last of the first with two away as Taylor O’Malley singled, followed by a double off the bat of Jereah Hagler.
Cheyenne Espinosa drove in the second run with an infield single.
The Chicks got one run back in the top of the third when Kaylen Shell walked and Lauren Snodgrass singled. Samantha Overdorff then drew a free pass to load the bases, and the speedy Shell scored on a steal of home on the return throw back to the circle.
Shell’s run made it a 2-1 game, and Schuettler was cruising in the last of the frame, retiring the first two hitters she faced, and had two strikes on Hagler when the tide shifted for the Chicks.
Schuettler hit Hagler with her next toss and Espinosa hit a bloop double to the grass in center field to plate Hagler for her second RBI of the contest. A wild pitch allowed Espinosa to score after a steal of third.
Taylor Shanks worked Schuettler for a walk and Kendall Ulbrich rapped a single to deep short. The throw to first was errant and late as Shanks came around to score and Ulbrich ended up at third on the play.
Sara Elliott’s RBI single, which rode the chalk down the first-base line, gave Charlie’s gals a 6-1 lead.
Charlie’s added three more in the next frame with a Hagler triple plating two runs and Espinosa struck again for her third run batted in of the game as she drove a sacrifice fly to center to make it a 9-1 game.
In the top of the fifth, the Chick’s got a run when Schuettler walked and Shell tripled to make it a 9-2 game.
Fair was relieved by Taylor O’Malley in the fifth and she gave up just the one run before getting into hot water in the sixth. Amara Bunton doubled with one away and the Chicks then exercised patience at the dish.
O’Malley and reliever Kandace Woodby walked the next seven Chick’s hitters to force home four runs, with another scoring on a wild pitch.
Woodby recovered and retired Maddie Lassiter on strikes and Espinosa completed the game-ending double play on the throw to first which caught the Chick’s runner heading to second.
Both teams return to action on Saturday with Charlie’s Wholesale taking on the SWAT team and Chick-Fil-A facing the winner of tomorrow’s contest between Milligan Grocery and Plumber’s Hardware.
Chick-Fil-A 001 015 — 7 4 x
Charlie’s 204 30x — 9 8 x
Schuettler and Shell, Tipton (5). Fair, O’Malley (5), Woodby (6) and Espinosa. W—Fair. 3B—Hagler, Shell. 2B—Hagler, Am.Bunton, Espinosa.