Saving the best for last

By Cory Smith - csmith@mtairynews.com
West Stokes’ Emma Bullin hits a fly ball in a game earlier this season. - Cory Smith | The News

KING — Surry Central saved its best win of the year for the final game of the regular season. The Golden Eagles rallied from a 6-4 deficit on the road to defeat the Wildcats 7-6.

Central’s win edged them ahead of North Surry for the third seed in the Western Piedmont 2A Athletic Conference. Both teams have an 8-4 conference record, but Surry Central holds the tiebreaker.

Surry Central (9-10, 8-4) ends its rollercoaster season on a high note. The Eagles were never able to win more than two games in a row, while conversely never losing more than three consecutive games. Many such games could have gone either way.

Friday night was the Eagles’ seventh game of the season decided by two runs or fewer. One of the other instances was when the Cats and Eagles met in Dobson on April 3. West Stokes (16-6, 9-3) won that game, 3-2.

Central came out of the gate ready to roll. The first three batters, Claire Via, Megan Atkins, and Taylor Coe, each had singles. Coe’s hit scored Via for the first run of the day. After a strikeout from West Stokes, Haley Newman hit a 3-run home run. The Eagles led 4-0 after their first at-bat.

There’s a reason that West Stokes is ranked second in the WPAC. They rallied back and put up three runs of their own in the bottom of the first. Lead-off Hannah Woody sparked the offense with a double. Similar to Central’s offense in the first inning, the Wildcats’ Mackenzie Parker hit a 2-run homer. The Eagles ended the inning with two strikeouts before the Cats could do further damage.

Surry Central struggled to get on base following a dynamite first inning. The Golden Eagles didn’t record another hit until the fifth inning. Meanwhile, West Stokes found themselves on top with strong performances in the third and fourth innings.

The first six batters were either walked or recorded a hit. Faye Lawson led-off with a single, and made it home after a 2-run home run by Parker, her second of the night. With the game tied at 4-4, Allison Mabe was walked. The bases were loaded after singles from Allie Mendenhall and Rachel Delcamp. West took the lead on an RBI single from Tori Tucker.

West Stokes scored its sixth and final run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Parker crossed the plate after an Eagle error off a Mendenhall hit.

Things didn’t look good for the Eagles heading into the top of the seventh. Central only managed two hits since their 4-run first inning and trailed 6-4.

Via began the inning with a single. Megan Atkins had a fly-out for the first out, followed by a fielder’s choice at second on a Coe hit. Savanah Atkins kept the game alive with a walk, advancing Coe to scoring position. With two runners on base, Newman hit a 3-run home run to take the lead, 7-6.

West Stokes still had a turn at-bat to retake the lead. However, the Eagle defense didn’t really give them a chance. Two fly-outs and a strikeout later, the game was over and Central was the victor.

West Stokes’ Emma Bullin hits a fly ball in a game earlier this season.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_DSC_0697.jpgWest Stokes’ Emma Bullin hits a fly ball in a game earlier this season. Cory Smith | The News
Surry Central softball played spoiler on West Stokes’ Senior Night

By Cory Smith

csmith@mtairynews.com

Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith

Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith