Lions’ offensive flurries top MC
By Marcus Fitzsimmons | (email@example.com)
The snowman watching behind the right field fence couldn’t help Maryville Sunday afternoon. Even as the monument to Saturday’s weather got occasional visits from some flaky friends, he couldn’t cheer MC to hold on in the opener nor for encouragement to escape a Piedmont avalanche inning in the second session, as the Scots fell to 0-12, dropping the doubleheader delayed a day by weather to the Lions in the USA South opener for both former GSAC schools.
“Having snowmen in the stands is a rare softball occurrence,” MC skipper Kim Woodard told The Daily Times with words that trailed little clouds of steam. “Let’s just say it was hard work to get the field in shape.”
The Scots came out swinging as the thermometer topped 33 degrees for the first pitch. Hannah Youngdeer connected on an RBI-double and Kalyn Jones ripped an RBI-single as part of a four-hit, two error first that gave Maryville the early 2-0 lead.
Piedmont (8-0, 2-0 USAC) pecked back with a run in the third and took the lead off a three-run fourth.
“I’m proud of our girls. We started out with a couple errors and they put a couple runs on the board and we hadn’t played from behind yet this year,” Piedmont coach Terry Martin said. “They showed some character there and fought back. The biggest thing is we’re trying to cross a threshold and get to something different and the girls picked up the pace and kept the focus on the game and not all the excuses they could have found with the weather or all that.”
Youngdeer picked up her third ribbie in the fifth, following a sacrifice fly to deep center from Caitlin Cox as Maryville made a move to retake the lead. Youngdeer was caught trying to take second on the throw to the plate to end the side and Piedmont starter Brittney Head (W) no hit Maryville the final two frames. The junior hurler struck out six and gave up hits but didn’t walk a Scot and was charged with only one earned run in the 7-4 victory.
“We had a good start in the first game. We hit well, played good defense and got them on a few delay steals and that motivated us into getting some of the hits we got and kept us up and in the whole game,” Woodard said. “Second game, we hit well, we just had that one inning where we couldn’t get out of it.”
The Lions cracked open a 3-2 lead sending 13 to the plate for a nine-run third in the second game, taking the 12-2 win in five innings. Maryville officially committed two errors in the frame but the Lions turned up the attack with aggressive base running that produced a series of timely steals.
“Piedmont has a lot of speed and is very aggressive in what they do and we knew that coming in and prepared for it,” Woodard said of the Lions. “We caught them for outs quite a few times but that didn’t get them down our put them off their game. We need that. We need people to put pressure on us. We won’t answer speed with speed but we can answer with hits.”
Maryville gets another chance to crack the win column today hosting Southern Wesleyan in a nonconference doubleheader. Piedmont, which lost five of its first 10 scheduled games to weather already, heads to the NFCA Lead Off Classic next weekend.
“Since it was our opening conference games, it was pretty important that we got these in,” Martin said. “The conference does allow us to miss some for rainouts but we’d rather miss the ones further off than the ones close to home. It was important to get in. Coach Woodard and the school did a good job on the field and we appreciate what they did to get the field ready for us to come in and play.”
PIEDMONT 7, MARYVILLE 4
PC 001 321 0 — 7 12 3
MC 200 020 0 — 4 8 3
WP: Brittney Head (4-0). LP: Kayla Aloisi(0-2).
PIEDMONT 12, MARYVILLE 2
PC 309 00 — 12 15 2
MC 110 00 — 2 5 4
WP: Jordin Ellingson (4-0). LP: Lexie Randolph (0-6)