Midway’s Lady Raiders softball team resumed Four County Conference action on Thursday night, hosting the Pender Lady Patriots. Midway took the win in thrilling fashion as the Lady Raiders overcame a 4-0 deficit to win 5-4.
The Lady Patriots struck first as they picked up one run in to the top of the first inning. Midway pitcher Blythe Best had gotten into a jam with bases loaded, but the Lady Raiders were able to contain the damage to just 1-0 deficit.
Pender added another run in the third inning as the Lady Patriots were able to take advantage of a pair of back-to-back Midway miscues to increase the lead to 2-0.
Like clockwork, the Lady Patriots again added to their lead two innings later, pushing the margin to 4-0 in the top of the fifth.
With their backs against the wall, the Lady Raiders responded.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Midway was able to plate Alyssa Wrench and Laura Person to cut the Pender lead in half, 4-2.
The Lady Raiders completed the comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning. After holding Pender to three up three down in the top of the sixth, Hannah Lucas and JJ Sankey were moved around the bags to score two runs, tying the game at 4-4.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Lady Raiders thwarted a go-ahead run by the Lady Patriots. Pender’s leadoff batter for the inning rocketed a double to get things started. The next batter was struck out for out number one. The third batter of the inning laid down a sac bunt that moved the base runner to third, giving the Lady Patriots the go ahead run with two outs. The next batter hit a well hit ball to short stop, but the Lady Raiders made the play to preserve the tie score.
In the bottom of the seventh, Person reached first base after a grounder to third base. The throw to first was too high and Person beat the tag to put Midway in business. Two batters later, Caitlyn Holland advanced Person to second base, putting her in scoring position with two outs. Sankey stepped up to the plate and wasted no time as she took a pitch she liked and drove it sharply into right-center. The center and right fielders gave chase, but the ball dropped as Person rounded third for the winning run, 5-4.
After the game, Midway head coach Leigh Ann Smith was thrilled with her teams win.
“What a comeback,” she said joyously.
Smith credited several members of her team for solid overall play and hitting, including Alyssa Wrench, Hannah Lucas, and Laura Person, but her choice for “hero” of the game went to Sankey.
“JJ was the hero tonight. That was a big hit to win the game. We’re famous for beating ourselves at the beginning of the game and making comebacks at the end, but Pender is a good ball team and this was a solid win,” Smith said.
With the win, Midway improves to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the Four County Conference. They will be back in action on Friday as they travel to take on Clinton.
Reach Sports Editor Daron Barefoot at [email protected]