‘Cats down Tigers, 7-6Published 12:30pm Wednesday, February 20, 2013
By Ed Bailey
Despite jumping out to an early lead, the Benjamin Russell Wildcats softball team needed some last-inning heroics to put away Dadeville.
In the form of a two-run double to deep left by Tatum Gandy, BRHS got just that, winning by a score of 7-6.
The contest started out in favor of the Wildcats, who got two early runs on the board by way of shaky pitching from the Tigers and a sacrifice hit from catcher Carley Blakenship.
Haley Milner took the mound for the Wildcats and for five innings was nigh untouchable. She struck out six batters during her outing.
“Haley was dominant,” BRHS head softball coach Tal Morrison said. “She might’ve allowed two base hits all night.”
For much of the contest, the only way Milner allowed runs was by self-induced errors.
The Tigers got on the board in the bottom of the second inning after a wild pitch got behind Blakenship.
From that point until the fifth inning, the Dadeville offense was non-existent.
The Tiger bats came alive in the fifth inning. After DHS pitcher Jodie Caldwell was walked, Tigers shortstop Summer Reese got on with a single.
Shelby Rice advanced both runners with a sacrifice and Britney Rice brought Caldwell and Reese to home plate with a double to cut the deficit down 4-3.
Dadeville threatened again after a sacrifice and a walk had the corners loaded but Milner got out of the jam.
In the sixth, momentum was clearly in Dadeville’s favor.
Bailey Smith drew a walk from BRHS relief pitcher Taylor Hutto and that was followed by a single from Caldwell.
Reese grounded out but advanced the runners and a wild pitch from Hutto allowed Smith to tie the game for the Tigers.
An RBI double from Shelby and an RBI single from Britney had the Tigers up 6-4 heading into the final inning.
BRHS immediately went to work, as an RBI single from Daniellen Pressley followed by Milner reaching on a fielder’s choice set the table for Gandy.
Hutto shut down the side to seal the win for the Wildcats.
“We’ve got some very good leadership,” Morrison said. “We’ve got a very young team but they work well together. They communicate very well.”
Dadeville head softball coach Brownie Caldwell was pleased at her team’s resiliency despite the loss.
“We had a lot of mental errors,” Caldwell said. “At any point we could have thrown in the towel. I was really proud of them for not giving up. They fought back and did a really good job.”