Lamar softball wins nailbiter
By: Don Gearhart
On a night where base hits and free passes were at a minimum, the Lamar Lady Silver Foxes managed to account for the one thing that mattered; a single run in the first inning was the only score of the night.
Reagan Knotts stroked a line single down the left field line and advanced to second base when Dakota Melancon hit a slow grounder to first. Abby McManus promptly battered her in to score on a solid base hit in the hole between first and second. Green Sea Floyd tried to answer in the bottom of the first inning when Claire Stroud led off with a base hit. McManus then struck out the next two batters and retired the third with a pop-up to second base.
Both teams were retired in order in the second inning. Lamar was also held without a base runner in the top of the third inning. In the Lady Trojans half of the inning, Stroud’s second hit on the night came with two outs and she was stranded on another infield pop fly.
In the Lady Silver Foxes fourth inning, Melancon led off with a base hit but was forced out at second on a McManus fielder’s choice grounder. Emily Cribb walked to put McManus in scoring position but an infield flyout and ground out to second prevented any damage. With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Blair Elliott lofted a base hit to center field. In an attempt to make the catch, the ball rolled past the fielder and Elliott kept running. Brianna White made sure the Elliott would not reach second with a hustling back-up on the play and a perfect throw to second to catch the runner. That play was monumental when Haley Owens walked. McManus, though, was able to retire the next batter on a dribbler in front of the plate.
In Lamar’s fifth inning, Tatum Weaver’s base hit after two outs was all the Lady Silver Foxes could muster. In their half, Green Sea Floyd mounted their only threat of the game when Victoria Fryer walked ahead of Stroud’s third hit of the game. McManus made sure they didn’t score when she snagged a hard comebacker to end the inning.
Melancon and McManus led off Lamar’s sixth inning with consecutive base hits but were stranded when the next three batters were retired in order. Bailey Carroll led off the GSF sixth with a base hit and advanced to second on a wild pitch. McManus left her there with a strikeout and two harmless infield fly outs.
White walked to start Lamar’s seventh inning and was safe at second when Weaver’s grounder to short was misplayed. White was forced out at third base when a sacrifice bunt attempt was grabbed by pitcher Bailey Strickland’s throw to third. A pop-up in the infield ended any scoring opportunities. Ashly Ivey led off the Lady Trojans seventh with a base hit. In an attempt to steal second, catcher Kelly Anderson made a perfect throw to cut down the steal attempt. McManus then fanned the next batter and induced a grounder to short to end the game.
Melancon and McManus accounted for four of Lamar’s hits with two apiece. Stroud’s three hits led Green Sea Floyd.
On the mound, McManus only allowed six hits while recording seven strikeouts against two base-on-balls. Her mound opponent (Strickland) was nearly the same allowing just the single run on six hits, six strikeouts and two walks.
Lamar moves to 15-9 on the season with a 7-2 record in Class A Region 5. The region mark is currently good for third place behind Lake View (7-1) and Hannah-Pamplico (5-1).