BAILEY – Southern Nash let Wilson Hunt load the bases in the first inning. It had two players collide at full speed and it caught itself in two run-downs on the same play during Tuesday’s game at Southern Nash High School.
But even when the Ladybirds appeared to be headed for certain disaster, everything came up in their favor anyway. Such has been this season.
Southern Nash remained in first place in the conference with a 13-3 victory against Hunt, ending the game in the fifth inning due to the 10-run mercy rule.
“That’s just kind of the way it has been,” Southern Nash second baseman Morgan Foster said. “Everything is going perfect in our season so far.”
Mariah Gray loaded the bases in the top of the first inning, then allowed the Warriors to score first by hitting a batter. She managed to strand all three remaining runners, then allowed two hits the rest of the way to earn another victory for Southern Nash (15-3, 8-1 Big East).
After realizing how the game was being called, Gray tweaked her approach, and she did not allow another earned run.
“When I saw how the umpire was calling it, I tried to stay outside more,” Gray said. “I tried to get the calls out there or try and get them to chase after it.”
Gray needed little adjustment after the bottom of the first inning, when the first seven Southern Nash hitters reached base and scored.
Foster went 2-for-2, knocked in two runs and scored three times, while Gray hit her fourth home run of the season, a three-run shot to straightaway center field.
The Ladybirds drew as many walks (nine) as hits.
“All of our girls are smart,” Southern Nash coach Christy Bailey-Reams said. “They were being very patient at the plate. We didn’t really expect to have as many walks as we did, but we’ll win whatever way we can.”
The Ladybirds survived two miscommunications. In the second inning, center fielder Takiera Thompson and right fielder Tyreka Nicholson collided at full speed on a ball hit to right center field. Both girls were OK, and Thompson even held on to the ball for the third out.
In the fourth inning, Leakon Shores took off for third base, unaware that Foster was still there. As Shores ran back to second, Danielle Noland left for second, too. Despite the confusion, each girl made it back to their original base safely.
Everything feels like it’s going right for Southern Nash.
“It has been feeling like that all season,” Bailey-Reams said.
Southern Nash 13
Wilson Hunt 3
SN 000 000 0 – 13 9 1
WH 100 020 0 – 3 4 3
WP: Mariah Gray (5IP, 3R, 1ER, 4H, 4BB, 3K); LP: Taylor Evans (4IP, 13R, 10ER, 9H, 9BB, 4K).
2B: Morgan Tyson (SN). HR: Mariah Gray (SN).