For five innings, it was a pitcher’s duel between the Lady Greyhounds and Lady Cardinals.
Then the offenses exploded.
Through five innings, East Surry’s Emily Cummings was outdueling North Surry’s Marlee Bunker 1-0.
Then in the top of the sixth, the Cards erupted for eight runs to take a 9-0 lead.
The Hounds didn’t give up, scoring five runs in the sixth and five more in the seventh to end the game.
“The team just came together and decided to hit,” said North coach Willie Hodges. “The first five innings, we were watching too many good strikes go by.” Once East took a big lead, Hodges told the players that they had to start swinging at balls in the strike zone, and they not only swung — they made contact.
Having Bailey Culler lead off both innings was a plus because she has a high on-base percentage, the coach said.
In the bottom of the sixth, Culler singled, then Bunker and Taylor Hill followed with singles to load the bases.
Hayley Tickle hit a double that cleared all three runners to make it 9-3.
Jordan Badgett singled Tickle to third. Then Abby Martin grounded out to short to score Tickle with Badgett holding at second.
Katlyn Hodges hit a long fly ball with Badgett tagging up and going to third.
Madison Tickle singled in Badgett to make it 9-5.
Culler came up first in the seventh, too, and hit a double. Bunker singled her over to third before Hill doubled both runners in.
Hayley Tickle doubled in Hill to make it 9-8. Then Martin hit a double to score Tickle.
Hodges grounded out as the runner moved to third. Then a wild pitch allowed Martin to score the winning run.
These are two good pitchers, and it didn’t surprise North’s coach that it was a low-scoring game through five innings.
Getting the bats going late is better than not at all, Hodges reasoned, and he’ll take the win, coming off North’s first loss of the season against Forbush. The Hounds improved to 12-1 on the year.