Bobcats Rally from Seven Down to Bury Bulldogs
Battlefield softball coach Joe Schelzo wishes he could take some of the credit for the Bobcats’ comeback victory over Hylton Wednesday.
But he knows it wasn’t one of his pep talks that spurred the offensive resurgence.
“They did it all on their own,” said Schelzo, whose Bobcats rallied from a seven-run deficit in the fourth inning to shock the Bulldogs 12-10.
The decisive tallies came in the top of the seventh, when a two-on, two-out pop up off the bat of Stephanie Henke was flubbed by Hylton first baseman Alexius Mckay-Overby. Both runners, Meagan Witham and Morgan Rinehart scored on the error.
Bulldogs coach Donald Grimes expressed confidence that it’s a type of chance that won’t bother Mckay-Overby in the future.
“That was a routine pop-up right there in the infield,” said Grimes. “I know she’ll make that play 10 out of 10 times in the future. Tonight, it was just a bad play at the wrong time.”
Freshman Taylor Adams picked up the win in relief for the Bobcats. Adams took over for starting pitcher Teresa Wagner in the third inning, and held the Bulldogs scoreless from the fifth frame on.
Run support was a big factor for Adams, who was pitching in her first varsity contest.
“Once she [Adams] got in a rhythm, and we got the runs going, then the pressure was off, and she could relax and throw,” said Schelzo.
Adams felt like she was able to rely on support from her team while overcoming some early jitters.
“I think it’s having a lot of confidence in your team and in yourself, and just getting over fear,” said Adams of the keys to her performance.
Another obstacle that both teams had to overcome was the cold. The 6 PM first pitch gave way to rapidly decreasing temperatures and a biting wind.
Schelzo didn’t expect the teams to combine for 22 runs while facing such heavy resistance from the elements.
“If you had asked if it would have been a 12-10 game when we got here, I would’ve said there’s no way,” he said.
Grimes believes the weather might account for the Bulldogs’ fading focus down the stretch.
“I think the later it got, the temperatures may have affected our mental part of it a little bit,” explained Grimes.
Battlefield’s aggressive streak on the base-paths probably derailed the Bulldogs mindset too. And with the game in the balance, the Bobcats stayed in attack mode. Witham, the game’s winning run, stole second to put herself in scoring position.
Schelzo was glad to see his team buy in when it counted.
“The aggressive base running made a huge difference,” he said. “That’s something we’ve been trying to preach to them.”
Mia Lacy took the loss for Hylton. Lacy’s outing was in stark contrast to her Monday start, when she opened 2013 by fanning an incredible 22 of 24 Patriot batters in a 1-0 extra inning victory over the Pioneers.
Comparing a younger Patriot line-up with the more seasoned Bobcat hitters isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples proposition. Lacy and Hylton knew that coming in.
“As we expected,” said Grimes, “Battlefield’s a little more experienced team. Their girls hit the ball.”
The nine-unanswered runs Battlefield reeled off are evidence of that.
“The fact that they battled back, and hung tough, and took advantage of the opportunities they had is a credit to their spirit,” added Schelzo.