MINT HILL, NC – The bats were alive and well for the Lady Legion Fastpitch Softball team who held their inaugural home opener at the Mint Hill Athletic Association field #1 recently. The Fury who represent our town and American Legion Post 555 showed some excellent power, solid defense, and combined with strong pitching dominated the visitors.
In the opener after a scoreless first inning, Mallory Shaver drilled a single up the middle, Kayla Purdy followed with a single, Elizabeth Garbark singled scoring Shaver, then Purdy scored when the catcher threw the ball into center field trying to gun down Garbark from stealing second base, scoring the first two runs of the ball game. The Fury added two more runs on three hits to take a 4-0 lead.
In the visitor’s third inning, Gaston’s two power hitters connected on two fastballs for a 2-run homer, and a solo blast to make it 4-3 off Fury starter Taylor Houseton who would go the distance not allowing another run to be scored in the contest.
In the bottom of the third, De’ Mya Brown singled, Emma Bosquet followed with another base hit, and Purdy smacked a single to left scoring Brown to take a 5-3 lead after 3 innings of play.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Fury took complete control of the game when Mulkey Kimber singled, Garbark singled, Midori Walkup walked to load the bases, Mikenna Williams worked a 3-2 pitch base-on-balls for a run, after Houseton hit a hard smash into a force out at home, Shaver would smack a hard line drive into the right-center field gap to clear the bases, the next batter Bosquet singled home the runner from third to end the scoring. The damage was done as the Fury took an 11-3 commanding advantage and never looked back.
After the intermission, the second game started with Fury hurler Ciara Farrar who allowed a home run giving Gaston County a 1-0 early lead. However, the Fury would answer by scoring 4 runs of their own.
De’ Mya Brown blasted a solo shot deep over the left-field fence to tie the game at 1-1. McKenzie Grant followed with a single, Shaver was hit by a pitch, Farrar helped herself with a deep fly to right field advancing the runners to second and third base, Ava Williams singled to drive in two runs, and Bosquet doubled driving in a hustling Williams to take a 4-1 Fury lead.
In the second inning, the home team would add two more runs when Abi Sawyers walked, Mikenna Williams singled after Brown hit into a force play at third base, then Grant singled to drive in Williams and the Fury added another run for a 6-1 advantage.
In the fourth, Sawyers walked, would move to second on a wild pitch, and scored when the speedy Mikenna Williams worked a base-on-balls, hustling to the first base causing havoc heading toward second, forcing another errant throw, and Sawyers who showed good speed hustled home for another insurance run. The final out of the inning came when Shaver hit a deep drive to center field, only to be robbed of a home run with a nice play by the Gaston CF with arms fully extended up against the fence to make the catch.
Meanwhile, Fury starter Farrar held Gaston County scoreless for the rest of the ball game shutting them down with an excellent pitching performance. In fact, both hurlers Houseton and Farrar had very solid outings for the Fury.