H & H nips TDS, one win from 12U title

Friday, June 10, 2011
H & H coach Danny Hollingsworth goes to the circle for a conference with his daughter Leah (18) and catcher Skylar Brandon (73) in the fourth inning. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

Tuesday night's 12U softball match-up between first place H & H Communications and second place TDS was as they say, for all the marbles.

The two MCYBSL squads did not disappoint the throng of fans that showed up at the Richard Cashion Sports Complex for the dramatic and well played game won by H & H 5-3.

It was the third win this season over TDS for Coach Danny Hollingsworth's H & H Communicators, who need to dial up one just more win Thursday night versus Hillsboro Hunt Club or in Friday night's finale versus The Gym to claim the title.

"That was huge," said Hollingsworth after the game. "We got some timely hits and just got it done. TDS has a good team, they only have three losses and all of them are by us. They have beaten everybody else in the league straight up."

Hannah Singleton started in the circle for TDS and retired the H & H girls in order in the first inning.

TDS's Megan Polk (12) slams an RBI single in the first inning that gave her squad an early 2-0 lead. Polk would go 2-3 with two RBIs in the ballgame, but it was not enough as H & H prevailed 5-3.

A one-out single by Allison Sheroski, followed by a base on balls by Carson Coble in the bottom of the inning set the table for Megan Polk's two-out single to center field that scored Sheroski and Coble followed Sheroski home with run number two when H & H bobbled the ball in the outfield.

"I told the girls it is a long ballgame, let's just chip back," said Hollingsworth in the dugout after the inning.

They listened.

Skylar Brandon started the rally when she reached on a TDS outfield error, stole second, and went to third on a passed ball.

Singleton struck out the next batter, but Brandon trotted home on a RBI fielder's choice by Blair Richards to cut the TDS margin in half.

Leah Hollingsworth mowed down TDS from the circle in the bottom of the inning 1-2-3.

In the visitors' half of the third inning, Autumn Kelley bashed a single to left field and stole second on the next pitch to Leah Hollingsworth.

The throw to get Kelley at second sailed over the bag and past the center fielder, allowing Kelley to cross home plate with the tying run.

Hollingsworth followed with a base hit and she stole second.

Jordan Yelensky drilled a single to center field that was scooped up by Kirston Young, who hit Sheroski with the cutoff, and the talented TDS shortstop gunned the ball to catcher Emma Mitchell, who applied the tag on a bang-bang play at home for the out.

Yelensky, who went to second on the throw home, scored the go ahead run on an error off the bat of Brandon.

Courtney Edde drove in the eventual game winner on a single to left that scored Brandon.

Leah Hollingsworth gave up a one-out hit to Aliyah Holder in the bottom of the inning, but got the next two outs to hold the 4-2 lead.

A leadoff hit by Shania Jett in the H & H fourth inning, followed by a pretty sacrifice bunt by Amber Lyons set the table for Kelley, who busted a single up the middle to score Jett for a two-run lead for H & H.

TDS got their first batter on base in the bottom of the frame when Cortney Darnell reached on an error.

Polk stepped up to the dish and spanked a triple down the left field line that scored Darnell to make it 5-3.

With Singleton at the plate, Hollingsworth's heads-up play on a ground ball back to the circle was the first turning point of the ballgame.

Hollingsworth fielded Singleton's grounder and faked a throw to first before wheeling back around and nailing Polk at third for the first out.

TDS would get two more runners on base in the inning, but would not be able to push another run across home, thanks to a magnificent play by Richards at first, who fielded an errant throw, but somehow found the bag with her foot for the third out.

That would be the last scoring chance TDS would have the rest of the game, as Hollingsworth would not allow another batter to reach first again in the win.

Both Hollingsworth (1 ER, 5 Ks, 5 hits, 1 HBP, 1 BB) and Singleton (1 ER, 6 hits, 7 Ks, 1 HBP) turned in solid complete outings in the circle.