MINT HILL, NC – The Mint Hill Fury, our local Mint Hill American Legion Lady’s Softball team lost a heart breaker to Kannapolis 9-8 recently in the Legion State Playoff Tournament.
The ladies jumped out to a quick 3-0 start in the first inning. Ava Williams led off with a single, after one out on a force play, Ciara Farrar connected on a fastball drilling it deep over the left-center field fence for a 2-0 Fury lead. Jamie Hearn followed with a base hit, Taylor Houseton singled, and Maddy Matteo delivered an RBI hit to end the scoring as the next two batters were retired stranding two base runners.
In the second inning the Fury added two more runs on 4 hits to take what seemed like a comfortable advantage building a 5-0 lead after two frames into the ballgame. However, the momentum changed quickly after Farrar was hit by a pitch, Hearn doubled into the outfield gap, with runners on second and third, a pitching change by Kannapolis the new hurler struck out the next three batters ending the threat. The Fury should have found a way to push one or two of those runners across the plate but could not deliver.
Kannapolis was able to scratch a run in the fourth inning off of Fury starter Jamie Hearn to make the game 5-1 after four full innings. However, the visitors were able to score 8 unanswered runs off of Fury pitching and some bad luck which included a blown umpire call, and the Fury center fielder accidentally tripping over her cleats and falling down on a flyball that should have been caught for a third out extending the inning and allowing two more runs to score for Kannapolis.
But in the bottom of the seventh inning the Fury made a gallant come back scoring 3 runs of their own showing they were not going down without a fight. A combination of base hits and excellent bunt execution by Matteo, Mikenna Williams, Kaitlyn Allen, Emma Bosquet and Ava Williams contributed to the excitement. However, the home team fell short when a line drive hit right on the button, with a runner on first base, was hit directly to the center fielder for the final out of the season, thus ending the home teams hopes of advancing to the next round of the playoffs.