After suffering a 3-2 loss to archrival Giles County the previous day, the Marshall County Tigerettes bounced back with a 2-0 victory over the Spring Hill Lady Raiders at home on Friday thanks to solid defense and a strong pitching performance by starting hurler Mieke Wallace.
"Yesterday was a hard loss, but we'll get another shot at Giles County. The word around the District was that Spring Hill was the top dog so this was a big win," said MCHS coach Holly Barnes.
The Lady Raiders had scored 12 runs in each of their last games, but Wallace limited Spring Hill (2-2, 2-2 District) to just four hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings of work to go along with seven strikeouts.
The Tigerettes (4-1, 3-1 District) were also sound defensively and did not commit an error in 14 fielding chances while the Lady Raiders advanced a runner past first base just once.
"With the way our defense and pitching played today, I think we can beat most teams. I would have liked to have scored more than two runs, but our pitching and defense came through," said Barnes. "From last year to this year Mieke has made a lot of improvement with her control. Last year when she fell behind in the count, I knew she was going to walk the girl. Now she can come back and get the out."
Marshall County tallied five hits and drew three walks against Spring Hill pitcher Samantha Usher, but missed several opportunities to break the game open and stranded six runners in scoring position.
DH Kiki Summers led the Tigerettes offensively with a RBI triple and a walk, while Wallace had a single and a RBI. Brandie Jett also added a single, a walk, and a run scored for MCHS and Kathryn Haislip and Danielle Toseland doubled and singled respectively.
Wallace sat down Spring Hill in order in the top of the first, before Marshall County broke through for a run in the bottom half of the frame to grab a 1-0 lead. After Jett drew a leadoff walk, Toseland reached on a throwing error by Lady Raider third baseman Shelby Stephens while Jett advanced to third. Toseland then stole second before Wallace plated Jett with a RBI groundout.
The Tigerettes stranded a runner at third in the second inning but pushed across a run in the fourth to open up a 2-0 advantage. Wallace beat out an infield single to lead off the frame before courtesy runner Kaci Ezell advanced to second on a Nastashie Osborne sacrifice bunt. Ezell then raced home when Summers laced a triple into the right center field gap.
In the fifth, Marshall County loaded the bases with no outs on a walk by Kwanza Pillow and a couple of bunt singles by Jett and Toseland. The Lady Raiders though recorded two force outs at home plate before Usher struck out Osborne to escape the inning unscathed.
Spring Hill then put runners on first and second with two outs in the top of the sixth thanks to a single by Usher and a Brianna Thurman walk, but Wallace retired Kirstin Agent on an infield popup to snuff out the Lady Raider threat.
After the Tigerettes left a runner at second in the bottom of the sixth, Spring Hill's Megan Lafavor led off the top of the seventh with a single. Lafavor, however, advanced no further, as Toseland caught a sharply hit fly ball by Stephens before Wallace struck out the next two Lady Raider batters to slam the door on Spring Hill's comeback hopes.