Softball back on track

Published 9:18 am Thursday, April 18, 2019

In the first two games of last week, the Davie varsity softball team’s topsy-turvy season took a turn toward the turvy. A ray of sunshine came against Glenn.

Davie endured confidence-jarring losses to West Forsyth (4-1 in Clemmons on April 9) and Carson (5-0 at home on April 10). West pitcher Alex Rodriguez walked none in a five-hitter, and Davie, at 2-3 in the Central Piedmont Conference, was saddled with a losing record this deep into the CPC race for the first time in 10 years. (The 2009 team also started 2-3.)

London Dirks, Sydney Wyatt, Rachel Bostic, Shea Woody and Karley Queen had the hits for Davie. First-place West improved to 15-2 and 6-0 in the CPC.

One day later in a nonconference game, Carson pitchers Katie Jewell and Madison Anderson rendered Davie’s offense powerless. Emma Patterson had the only hit, breaking up a combined no-hitter with one out in the fifth, a bunt hit that left her impressive average at .358.

The War Eagles struck out nine times, lost for the fifth time in six games and experienced their first shutout defeat in the regular season since a 10-0 decision at Forbush on March 8, 2017.

The game was called after five innings due to light failure. Carson improved to 10-5.

•••

Davie took out some frustrations against Glenn on April 11, sprinting to a commanding lead and holding on 6-5 to snap a three-game slide.

Davie entered the week in third place in the CPC at 3-3. West (6-0) and East Forsyth (5-2) are at the top. Davie will make the state playoffs by finishing in the top three or winning the conference tournament.

“If we beat Reagan and East Forsyth, we would be tied for second at worst,” coach Dawn Lowery said. “I think we’re in a good spot.”

In the early going, Davie threatened to run away with it. In the first, Patterson and Dirks had bunt hits and an error on Wyatt’s ball loaded the bases for Caitlyn Sechrist, who lofted a sac fly. Then came the big hit, a two-run single by Bostic.

In the second, Davie pushed the 3-0 lead to 5-0. It tacked on another run in the sixth, which proved to be significant. McKenzie Mixon singled, Patterson bunted for a hit and Dirks put down a sac bunt. The sixth run crossed on Wyatt’s ground out.

Bostic carried a three-hit shutout into the seventh, but things began to unravel. Three singles and a walk produced a run and loaded the bases for No. 3 batter Maegan Blair, who smacked a grand slam to suddenly make it 6-5.

Lowery summoned Sydney Smith. The first batter unloaded on a pitch but left fielder Queen made a clutch catch near the fence in left-center. Smith retired the next batter to earn the save.

“Rachel pitched another great game,” Lowery said. “We’re asking her to carry a lot of the load and she is a little tired and sore right now. By the end, they were hitting her pretty good. I told the girls we’re still in control and we don’t need to panic.”

Glenn fell to 7-11 and 0-7 in the CPC. Davie, which is 5-2 in games decided by one run or in extra innings, improved to 6-7 overall.

Patterson was the offensive star, going 3 for 4 to raise her average to .395. Bostic (.346) and Queen (.314) are the other .300-plus hitters.