Springwood softball fights to see Game 3

Published 10:24 pm Monday, April 22, 2019

LANETT — The Springwood softball team split Monday’s doubleheader with Northside Methodist with a 10-7 loss and a 10-0 win.

In Game One, Springwood came back from a three-run deficit and tied the game at 6 apiece in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to a two-RBI single down the right field line by freshman Clara Hopkin. Northside responded by scoring four runs in the top of the seventh inning. The Wildcats loaded the bases with two outs in the final frame, but the game ended with a strikeout.

“We didn’t get it done,” Springwood head softball coach Galen Smith said. “At one point it was 6-4. We had our 3-4-5 batters up, and we didn’t produce then. It was kind of frustrating, then we came through in the second game.”

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Leading off the game on offense, Springwood held nothing back in Game Two. The Wildcats got off to a quick 4-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back.

“We were able to run the bases, we got some timely bunts, and then we got helped out when some of our girls got hit by pitches to get runners on,” Smith said. “We jumped out 4-0, which is very unusual for us. I’m very pleased with that.”

Springwood’s defense impressed Smith just as much as the team’s first-inning aggressiveness did.

“We kept adding to it, and we played shutout ball behind it,” Smith said. “They have a good hitting team. I did my scouting report over the weekend, and their one through six batters are pretty strong.”

He credits the increase in defensive intensity to junior Miranda Butler being on the mound. When Butler is pitching for the Wildcats, junior ace Emma Jennings is moved to second base, junior McKayla Barber is at shortstop and freshman Bailey Morrison is at third base, where she made a split-second read to catch a laser headed her way that ended Game Two. Senior catcher Allie Davis also made a few standout plays behind the plate.

“We’re still coming around with our outfield,” Smith said. “Sometimes they make plays, sometimes they don’t, but our infield has been strong all year.”

Springwood returns home on Tuesday afternoon to host Northside in the decisive Game Three at 4:30 p.m. EDT. Barber will start on the mound for Springwood, urging Smith that she wanted to pitch in the winner-take-all scenario. Butler and Jennings will be in the game if needed on the mound, Smith said.

“We have to hit the ball,” Smith said. “Our offense is what we have to deal with. Our infield plays good enough defense …I feel pretty good about tomorrow.”