A couple of firsts were registered in Thursday evening’s Carter County American Little League softball twin-bill at Jim Ensor Field.
In game one the Chicks earned their first win of the season — a 5-3 victory over Plumber’s Hardware — after which coach Sara Wagner joked, “We’re going to Disney World.”
In game two Charlie’s crew upended Plumber’s Hardware by a 20-4 tally to clinch first place in the league heading towards Tuesday’s tournament opener.
The Plumber’s gained the early advantage in the opener against the Chicks by scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first on a pair of walks and a two run hit by Sidney Markland.
The Chickadees rallied for two runs in the last of the first as Aundie Bunton walked and went to third on a single by Kaylen Shell. The Plumber’s turned a double play on a liner to the circle where Kaylen Fields caught the ball and doubled up Bunton off third.
The Chicks then got a pair of walks to load the bases and an infield single by Corie Shuller to bring home one run. A wild pitch brought home run number two and evened the score at 2-2 after one inning.
The Hardware crew plated a run in the second by loading the bases with walks and Nicole Weaver scored on a ground ball out by Fields to give the Roan Mountain squad a 3-2 lead.
Markland came on to pitch in relief of Fields in the second but she had trouble finding the strike zone, walking the first two hitters she faced. An RBI grounder off the bat of Shell knotted the score at 3-3, and two wild pitches plated two more for a 5-3 lead for the Chicks.
“I’m so proud of the Chicks for coming to play every day and improving every game,” Wagner said. Lightning strikes in the area forced a 40-minute delay and play was not resumed between the early opponents, instead game two commenced when play got back underway.
Once again walks played a major factor in the decision in game two, but Charlie’s ‘Angels’ also delivered some key hits as well.
Charlie’s scored six runs in each of the first three innings and a pair in the top of the fourth when the mercy rule came into play.
Haley Fair had a first inning RBI double and Jereah Hagler had a two-run single as did Taylor Shanks for Charlie’s who finish with a 10-2 mark for coach Travis Fair.
“These girls played hard all year for me,” said Fair. “They are a good bunch, they practice hard a lot of them play multiple positions defensively and they hit the ball. In the two losses we had we had trouble throwing strikes and it’s a pitchers game and when you don’t throw strikes that will happen.”
Kandace Woodby delivered a two-run single in the second for Charlie’s and Taylor O’Malley struck a run scoring hit for a 12-2 lead after two frames.
For Plumber’s Hardware Kenzi Birchfield had an RBI single and Markland plated a run with an RBI grounder in the last of the first.
In the third Fair delivered a three-run bases clearing double to center that gave Charlie’s crew an 18-2 lead. RBI grounders from Lexi Tolley and Weaver made it an 18-4 contest.