Devereaux sparks big inning

Published 5:21 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Davie’s varsity softball team waited an awfully long time to flip the switch at Mt. Tabor on April 26. The War Eagles took the suspense way too far in an eventual 8-1 win.

The War Eagles trailed 1-0 after two innings. They held a precarious 2-1 lead after six. You wondered how this game was close. The first meeting was an 11-0 yawner in Davie’s favor. Davie has won 28 straight in the series. Tabor is 4-15 overall and 2-9 in the Central Piedmont Conference. Davie was coming off an impressive 8-7 win over an Alexander Central team ranked fourth in the state in 4-A.

“We definitely had an Alexander Central hangover,” coach Dawn Lowery said. “We just didn’t play with enough intensity or desire. It was a win but definitely not a victory for our team.”

Davie had to sweat it out despite outhitting Tabor 10-1. The biggest reason for that: Davie stranded nine runners.

In the bottom of the first, Tabor’s lone hit was a triple. The next batter plated the run with a sac fly. Tabor would have just four more base runners (two errors, two walks).

Davie took a 2-1 lead in the third. McKenzie Barneycastle bunted her way aboard and scored on an error. After Bridgett Tierney bunted for a hit, she scored on Anna Devereaux’s ground out.

Davie wasted a great chance to bust it open in the sixth. Makenzie Smith walked, K’lea Parks doubled to put runners at second and third and Desiree Lewis was hit by a pitch with two outs. With the bases loaded, a strikeout by Rachel Whitaker, who threw 140 pitches and gave Tabor everything she could, kept the score 2-1.

At this point, Davie’s heart was thumping with anxiety. On the bus ride to Winston-Salem, it was unthinkable that it could lose this game.

“(The sixth inning) was very frustrating,” Lowery said. “We did not execute. We couldn’t get it to click. We were very flat for most of the game. Tabor came out fired up for (its) Senior Night and played a great game.”

But in the top of the seventh, the War Eagles went from straining to score to blowing it open with disdain. The gap in talent was finally evident as Davie poured across six runs on four hits.

With one out, Devereaux touched off the flurry of offense with a double. With two outs, Katelyn Webb singled home Devereaux. Smith laced an RBI double. After Parks was hit by a pitch, Jessie Beck had a run-scoring single. After Lewis walked, an error plated two runs as a Barneycastle rocket to center field was dropped.

Davie suddenly wasn’t up by one anymore. It was up by seven. How’s that for heating up?

Tierney (2-5) and Beck (2-4, double) had two hits each. Let’s not forget pitchers Julie Gough and Olivia Boger. Gough, the winner, allowed one run and one hit over five innings, leaving after 68 pitches. Boger threw 15 of 19 pitches for strikes over two hitless innings to earn the save.

“Julie did a great job,” Lowery said. “I made the change not because she wasn’t doing her job, but because we needed something to mix things up. Olivia came in and dominated.”

To the surprise of no one, Davie was way too good for visiting Parkland on April 29. The War Eagles cranked four home runs and breezed 15-0 in four innings.

Devereaux (3-3) and Beck (3-3, five RBIs, homer) paced a 16-hit attack. Davie got two hits from Barneycastle (2-3), Tierney (2-4, two steals), Smith (2-3, five RBIs, two homers) and Parks (2-2, double).

Potts hit a two-run homer in the first. In the third, Smith hit a three-run shot and Beck followed with a two-run blast. In the fourth, Smith went deep with one runner aboard.

Gough faced one over the minimum, completing four innings in 50 pitches.

The War Eagles, who are 14-9 overall, finished third in the CPC at 8-4. North Davidson (12-0) and West Forsyth (10-2) finished 1-2. Reagan (6-6), Tabor (3-9), Parkland (3-9) and Reynolds (0-12) finished in the 4-7 spots.

Although Davie slipped a notch after taking second last year, it finished second or third for the 10th straight year.