Special to the Grove Sun
COLCORD-Oaks and Colcord got together for a softball game at Hornet Field Thursday evening. And in a contest that looked to be an early Warrior runaway, Colcord came back in the late innings to make things close…. very close.
Tristan Sanders got the starting nod for the Lady Hornets and managed to get Lady Warrior leadoff batter Chynna Cooper to line out to left field. A subsequent pair of walks and a wild pitch then put a pair of Oaks runners into scoring position.
Senior cleanup hitter Shayla Barnett then stood on a Sanders pitch to plate her two teammates. By the end of their first at bat, Oaks had sent 10 batters to the box and scored five times.
In the bottom half Colcord’s leadoff hitter, Emalee Copeland, greeted Oaks starter Stephni Wilson with a liner to the fence for a clean triple. A wild pitch then put the Lady Hornets in the scorebook, giving Copeland her first of five runs scored in the game. Wilson finished out the inning by getting the next three batters to pop up on the infield.
In the top of the second, the Lady Warriors scored a solo run when Malaurie Blackfox led off with a walk and scored on the first of Colcord’s seven errors in the game. Wilson pitched around a walk and an error to get out of the second unscathed.
The visitors plated two more in the top of the third, when Cooper walked and Blackfox reached on an infield error. Francis Milspaugh then lashed a double to the opposite field to score her teammates. In the home half of the stanza, Copeland reached base on another hit, then advanced on a passed ball and scored on a Zoe Scott hit.
Leading 8-2 to start the fourth, Ally Foreman was struck by the pitch and moved to second on a failed double play attempt. Wilson reached base on an infield single to load the bases, setting up what appeared to be the game’s pivotal blow. With the sacks jammed, Cooper jacked a frozen rope off of the outfield fence. And by the time the Hornet outfield could retrieve the ball, Cooper was rounding third for a grand slam and a 12-2 lead.
Down by 10 it was do or die for Colcord. And the Lady Hornets answered with a pair of RBIs off the bats of Copeland and Emily Farris, to avoid the mercy rule in the fourth. Sanders held Oaks scoreless in the top of the fifth, while Zoe Scott led off the home half of the inning. Scott scored on a Dekayla Boling triple. Boling touched home on Erin Long’s sacrifice for a 12-5 deficit.
The Lady Warriors used four walks, two errors and a hit batsman to score five times in the top of the sixth without a single base hit.
Facing another must score situation Colcord did just that. Copeland reached base for a fourth time on another error and advanced to second when Farris walked. Scott, Boling, Long and Dava Weaver then connected on consecutive base hits to trump their guests with five of their own.
In the top of the seventh Sanders managed to pitch around a pair of walks and another Cooper hit to go to the bottom of the inning trailing 17-10. And that’s when the fireworks began. Sanders started things off with a single and another Warrior error put Copeland on board for a fifth time. Farris loaded the bases with a scratch single, where Theresa Ketkeo slapped a single to score Copeland and Farris. Scott followed with her fourth hit of the game. An error loaded the bases for Colcord and another cleared the bases to bring the home team within one.
But a crucial play at the plate saw the potential game-tying run cut down at the plate. Wilson was able to get herself out of the inning for the 17-16 road victory.