Woody catalyst in win
Published 9:26 am Thursday, April 21, 2016
Going into the Davie varsity softball team’s home game against Reagan on April 12, Davie’s season had been defined for what had not happened.
But what did happen on this night was crucial. Olivia Boger provided strong pitching. Hannah Woody, McKenzie Barneycastle and Bridgett Tierney produced clutch hits. Jessie Beck scored two runs. And Anna Devereaux drove in the winning run as the War Eagles shaved Reagan 3-2 in a swing game.
The sign you heard was a gust of relief. If Davie loses this, it falls in a third-place tie with Reagan. The win all but wrapped up third for Davie.
“It was a huge team win,” coach Dawn Lowery said after Davie improved to 11-7 overall and 6-2 in the Central Piedmont Conference. “I had confidence that we were going to come out on top. Reagan is a very good team, and everybody did their part.”
Tierney went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a triple. Sierra Ferguson and Woody both went 2 for 3. Woody was of massive importance. Not only did the No. 9 batter spark rallies in the fifth and seventh, she made a sparkling play at third in the top of the seventh.
Boger and Reagan’s Lindsey Hoots put up zeroes in the first four innings, with Boger carrying a one-hitter into the fifth. Her shutout was ruined in unlikely fashion, with No. 6 batter Christin Slate socking a solo home run in the top of the fifth. Slate struck out in her first and third at-bats.
“She didn’t touch the ball other than that home run,” Lowery said. “I mean her feet were moving in the box. We just hung a rise ball. We were not expecting that. It was a big shock.”
After getting held to three hits through four innings, Davie’s bats came live in the bottom of the fifth.
“It took us a couple rounds before we started adjusting to (Hoots),” Lowery said.
The War Eagles’ surge began after the first two batters were retired. Woody staked her claim to player-of-the-game honors by blooping a single over short. Beck entered as a pinch-runner, and she moved up when Barneycastle put down a bunt hit. That set the stage for Tierney.
“I asked Bridgett: ‘What are you confident in here? What do you want to do?’” Lowery said. “She said: ‘I want to hit.’ I said: ‘Good, that’s what I wanted you to say.’”
Tierney’s desire to swing away paid big dividends as she smashed a two-run triple off the fence in right. She just missed her first-ever over-the-fence homer.
“It was a clutch hit,” Lowery said. “But it all started with Woody and Barneycastle.”
Reagan answered with a tying run in the seventh, but Boger fanned Slate on three pitches and Woody made a two-out play that put a bounce in Davie’s step as it prepared to bat in the bottom of the seventh.
“They hit a hard one-hopper down the line,” Lowery said. “Woody dove, came up and made the play. That was a big momentum shift for us.”
Leading off the last of the seventh, Woody came through again, legging out a hit to short. Beck reentered again as the pinch-runner. Barneycastle was thrown out at first by an eyelash, but she did her job by bunting Beck to second. After swinging away in her previous at-bat, Tierney decided to soft slap this time, resulting in an infield hit to third.
“If Bridgett doesn’t beat that out, the next play doesn’t even matter,” Lowery said.
The next play sealed the deal. Devereaux rode the second pitch to deep center, the sac fly easily scoring Beck from third to give Davie a 14-0 all-time record in the series. Reagan fell to 7-7, 4-4.
“Anna did exactly what we needed her to do,” Lowery said. “I’m actually surprised they didn’t walk her to load the bases. It worked out the way we hoped.
“I know they wanted to beat us bad, and that’s a compliment. They played a great game. Right now we’re sitting pretty in third. This will give us a bit of momentum going into Friday against West Forsyth.”
Boger hurled a three-hitter with 56 strikes against 23 balls.
“It’s a team sport and that game is all a team effort,” Boger told the Winston-Salem Journal. “We just played small ball, and we did what we’re supposed to do.”
“She pitched great,” Lowery said. “She commanded several of her pitches, and that made a big difference.”
Losing To WF
A share of second was on the line Friday in Clemmons. Davie played well enough to beat most teams, just not a 17-1 team that is a contender for the 4-A championship.
West staved off Davie 5-3 as the Titans protected second at 7-1. After putting up little resistance in the first meeting – West dominated 11-2 on March 15 – the War Eagles (11-8, 6-3) made the home team work for this one.
Davie struck in the second. Katelyn Webb led off with a double, and sacrifices by Makenzie Smith and K’lea Parks pushed her around as Davie grabbed a 1-0 lead. After West surged in front 2-1, Smith’s RBI single in the fourth plated Devereaux and tied the game at 2. After West took a 4-2 lead in the fourth, Davie pulled within 4-3 in the fifth.
Barneycastle (2-4) and Webb (2-3) had four of Davie’s six hits. Smith and Parks had the others.
Notes: In a shocking turn of events, Davie’s junior varsity lost 11-1 at West after routing the Titans 9-1 on March 15. Davie fell to 7-4 overall and 4-2 in the league.