The Lady Patriots Fall To Northern Guilford In The First Round Of The State Playoffs

Indy’s right fielder Olivia Baker catches a fly ball for an out in Tuesday’s road game. (Photo by Ron Morris)
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MINT HILL, NC – On Tuesday afternoon the 19 seeded Lady Patriots softball squad traveled to Greensboro to play the 14 seeded Northern Guilford Nighthawks in the first round of the North Carolina High School Softball State Championship tournament. The Lady Patriots got on the board in the top half of the second inning.  Midori Walkup led off the inning with a walk.  After Indy’s next batter flew out, Elizabeth Garbark followed and reached on an infield hit that sent Walkup to third.  With runners on the corners, Kirsten Kirby came to the plate and singled to left field scoring Walkup to give the Lady Patriots a 1-0 lead. In the bottom half of the inning, the Lady Nighthawks tied the score 1-1 on two hits and one Indy error.

Third baseman Natalie Johnson fouls off the pitch. (Photo by Ron Morris)

In the top of the third inning, the Lady Patriots plated three runs to take a 4-1 lead.  Emma Wrenn led off and reached on a throwing error by the Nighthawks’ third baseman.  Wrenn advanced to second on the throw.  Natalie Johnson stepped up to the plate and got a base hit to center field scoring Wrenn from second base.  Sarah Johnson and Midorl Walup each drew a walk and loaded the bases.  Terris Adkins reached on a fielder’s choice as Johnson was forced out at the plate.  With the bases still loaded and one out, Elizabeth Garbark came to the plate and hit a single to left field and picked up two RBIs giving the Lady Patriots a 4-1 lead after three full innings of play. In the top of the fifth inning, the Lady Patriots added another run when Terris Adkins led off with a base hit to left field.  Elizabeth Garbark blasted a triple to the center-field fence scoring Adkins.  Indy’s pitcher Morgan Clark stepped up to the plate and hit a hard shot back to the Nighthawks’ pitcher.  The Nighthawks’ pitcher looked at third, then made the play at first base.  On the throw to first, Garbark was sent home.  After making the out at first, the Nighthawks’ first baseman fired the ball to home where Garbark was tagged out.  At the end of the top half of the fifth the Lady Patriots led 5-1.  In the home half of the inning,  the Nighthawks started their come back by adding three runs.  After the leadoff hitter lined out to short, the next batter walked but was forced out on a grounder to  Indy’s shortstop Olivia Baker who threw to second baseman Terris Adkins for the second out.

With two outs and a Nighthawks’ runner on first, Northern Guilford added three runs to make the score 5-4 in favor of the Lady Patriots.Both teams went three up and three down in the sixth inning with Indy leading 5-4 heading into the seventh and final inning.In the top half of the inning, the Lady Patriots were unable to add any runs.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Nighthawk’s lead-off hitter Dakotah Wilkins drew a walk.  The next batter Nicky Dodson reached on a fielder’s choice putting runners on first and second with no outs.  Rigdon Lamberth came to the plate and singled to center field scoring Wilkins to tie the score at 5-5 with no outs.  After the Nighthawks’ next hitter grounded out, Taylor Claassen came to the plate and singled to center field scoring the winning run and giving Northern Guilford a 6-5 walk-off win. After talking with her players, Indy’s head coach Amanda Jardina said:  “Game-wise that one inning defensively killed us.  But honestly, our bats got cold for a few innings, and I think that hurt us a little more.  We got comfortable with a 4-1 lead and just couldn’t get ourselves out of it.”  “The season as a whole, we grew absolutely grown.   In the first game of the season against South Meck we lost 6-0.  We couldn’t put the ball in play.  We couldn’t do anything.  But today we put the ball in play, but things just didn’t go our way and the season ended.  Unfortunately for the seniors, and I love them to death, their four-year careers also came to an end.  It is just sad it had to come so soon.  It was a tough loss.”The Lady Patriots ended the season 18-7 with an 11-1 conference record and as co-champions of the Southwestern 4A Conference.

Independence       0 1 3 0 1 0 0  –  5

Northern Guilford  0 1 0 0 3 0 2  –  6

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