A wild game ensued Thursday evening as the Lady Dark Horses travelled to Lakewood for some non-conference softball action. After a rough start to a game that was littered with miscues, the Lady Leopards rallied in the decisive fifth inning to claim the 15-12 victory.
Clinton got things started, quickly manufacturing a pair of runs for an early 2-0 lead. Callie Sumner led off with a line-drive single to center field. While stealing second base, Tori Johnson hit an infield chopper that resulted in an errant throw to first. Sumner scored in the exchange as Johnson took third with no outs. A couple batters later, Johnson raced home after a passed ball for another run. Lakewood settled down and retired the next three batters, but Clinton led 2-0.
After a couple of scoreless innings, Lakewood was able to chip away at the lead thanks in part to a couple of Clinton errors. Peyton Crumpler reached second base following one error, then was scored on an errant throw-out attempt at third. Clinton retired the next two Lakewood batters, preserving its lead at 2-1.
The Lady Horses opened up their lead after a big inning in the top of the third. Naomi Miller started the inning by reaching after getting hit by a pitch. Sumner stepped up to the plate and sent a blast into left field. An error on the play resulted in Sumner circling the bases, adding two more runs for Clinton. The Lady Horses manufactured two more runs with two outs. Lauren Moore drew a walk and was advanced thanks to a Sydney Simmons line drive into left field. A line drive by Maccailyn Sessoms into right field scored Moore and Simmons. Clinton would lead 6-1 headed to the bottom of the third inning.
Once again, the Lady Leopards chipped away at the lead in the bottom of the third inning, earning back three runs to make it 6-4. Morgan Tanner singled up the middle. Following a pair of doubles by Krislyn Bullard and Summer Thigpen, two runs scored. Lakewood would add one more in the inning.
Right on cue, Clinton responded, adding two runs to build their lead to 8-4. Miller led the inning off with a single to right and was then scored when Sumner hit a line drive into right field. The right fielder misplayed the ball, allowing Sumner to reach third base. Johnson then fired a line drive that was just off the glove of the third baseman, scoring Sumner for the 8-4 lead.
Things went downhill quickly for the Lady Dark Horses as the miscues piled up, The inning featured two pitching changes, several illegal pitches, and a flurry of wild pitches and errors as Lakewood exploded for eleven runs, claiming a commanding 15-8 lead.
Clinton would trim that lead to 15-12 over the next couple of innings, but the Lady Leopards held on, securing the win in a shootout.
Following the game, Lakewood head coach David Yarasheski was proud of his team for clawing back to steal the win.
“Overall, I’m real happy with how the girls bounced back. Defensively, we really put ourselves into a hole early, but the girls fought back, and I’m proud of every one of them.”
Coach Yarasheski also praised his pitcher, Madison Tart. “She did a tremendous job on the mound and really helped keep us in the game.”
Lakewood is back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Princeton. They conclude the season next Friday night at with a home game against Hobbton. Both games are set for 6:30 p.m.
Reach Daron Barefoot at [email protected]