MINT HILL, NC The Queen’s Grant High School Girl’s Softball team lost a 4 inning contest 9-7 at home on Tuesday due to weather conditions. Under cloudy skies, the game began, but it gradually began to get darker and the rain finally became a factor in the fourth inning.
Senior Natalie Megale started her first varsity game. She stepped up and volunteered to take the mound for the Stallions since ace Abi Sawyers required a much needed rest. Her start was met with an explosion from a good hitting team at Piedmont Community Charter. The Pirates were able to score 6 runs in the first inning to knock her out of the game forcing coach Don Nicolas to bring in his ace to get the final out of the opening frame. To be fair to Megale, not all the runs were earned as there were a few miscues committed by the defense.
However, the Stallions have a good offensive team, they bounced back with 4 runs of their own off the Pirates starter Grace East. Megale led off with a single, took second base on an errant throw, and scored on an RBI double by Abi Sawyers. Sophie Stenmark walked, Regan Cowick hit into a force play putting runners on the corners, Katelynn Hartis singled, scoring Sawyers, an errant throw scored another run putting Hartis on second base, then freshman Liz Finter laced a base hit to drive in Hartis for the fourth run as Genesis Abreu would fly out to end the threat. But a Stallion comeback was certainly a real possibility.
In the second inning the Patriots scratched an unearned run to extend their lead to 7-4. But the Stallions bounced back again when Megale singled, Sawyers drilled a double off the left field fence scoring the runner from first, and would score on a base hit by Reagan Cowick making the score 7-6 after two innings of competition.
The pesky Patriots scored two more runs off of relief pitcher Sawyers, but only one run was earned. Sawyers was pitching at 80% of her full capacity, her out pitch was not used forcing her to rely on a fastball and changeup. She was still effective pitching 3.1 innings with 6 K’s, while allowing 6 hits, no walks and 1 earned run.
The Stallions now down 9-6 countered in the home third with another run when they loaded up the bases, Sawyers stepped up and hit a rope, but right at the shortstop for the first out, the Stallions eventually scored on a base-on-balls earned by Finter. But the game breaking opportunity game up short, Alyssa Steele hit a hard grounder right to second base to end the threat. After three innings of play the Stallions were down 9-7.
Both teams did not score in the fourth and final inning. The game was called by the officials due to darkness and annoying rain. It’s unfortunate the teams could not play a full game, but it’s not unusual this time of the season in March, especially when the field does not have lighting.
Independence Beats Cuthbertson 15-12
The Lady Patriots defeated the Cavaliers from Union County 15-12 in a slugfest. After being down 7-0 in the first four innings of competition, Indy exploded for 11 runs in the fifth inning to take charge of this softball game and bring home a victory.
The Patriots slammed 14 hits scoring 15 runs to take a nice road win against a solid hitting Cavalier team. Emma Wren, Morgan Clark, Terris Adkins, Elizabeth Garbark, and Natalie Johnson all had two hits each, while Sarah Johnson went 1-2 with two base-on-balls.
The comeback win on the road is a real positive for the Lady Patriots who appear they will have to rely on their offense to outscore their opponents this season to compete at a high level.