High School Sports

Softball: West Florence 7, Ridge View 6

In a non-region game, the Ridge View Blazers (8-15 overall) travelled to WestFlorence to take on the Knights (7-12 overall) on Saturday, 4/25/09. In theprevious meeting this season between these two teams, the Knights won 10-2 ona cold, wet night at Ridge View. This game was much closer (and dryer) withthe Knights scoring a run in the bottom of the 9th inning under InternationalTie-break rules to break a 6-6 tie and edge Ridge View 7-6.

West Florence kicked off the scoring in the 1st inning, scoring 2 on anrbi-triple to right from Blair Ritch, followed by an rbi-single up the middleby Marlee McManus. The Blazers cut the lead to 2-1 in the 3rd, scoring a runwith a leadoff liner to center for a single from SS Megan Woodall, who scoredwhen C Katelyn Smith lined a 2-out single to right-center field. The Knightsgot the run right back in the bottom of the inning, scoring a run when a3rd-strike inside pitch from Brooke Dimock to Blair Ritch tipped off thecatcherƒs mitt to the backstop, allowing Ritch to reach first safely. MarleeMcManus followed with a 1-out rbi-double to right-center scoring Ritch.

Ridge View answered this run by scoring 4 in the top of the 4th to go up 5-3.Brooke Dimock lead off the inning with a single to right-center. After a sacbunt, 2B Natalie Davis grounded a ball past the pitcher, with the shortstopunsuccessfully trying to make the out at 3rd on courtesy runner Morgan Bailey,with Davis going to second on the play. Megan Woodall then lined her 2nd hitinto left field for an rbi-single, taking 2nd on the throw from the outfieldto 3rd. Kaitlyn McCormick followed with a fielderƒs choice grounder to 3rd,but the throw from 3rd trying to get Davis at the plate was wild allowing thesecond run to score. 3B Tre Medlin then grounded a ball to short, but Woodallwas able to beat the play to the plate from 3rd to score the 3rd run of theinning. After the 2nd out, 1B Stephanie Sweatman singled between short andthird, scoring McCormick with the 4th run in the inning for the Blazers.

After Dimock pitched a 1-2-3 4th inning, the Blazers added another run in the5th to make it 6-3. Brooke Dimock lead off the inning by lining a single toright-center for her 3rd hit of the game. After a wild pitch and a sac buntfrom Natalie Davis that was dropped on the play at first base, courtesy runnerBailey scored on a groundout from Woodall.

The Knights tied things up in the bottom of the inning scoring 3 runs on adouble by Demi Palles, a walk, a groundball error to short, and an rbi-tripleby Elizabeth Braswell. Blazer pitcher Brooke Dimock then locked things downfor the next 3 innings, only facing 10 batters in the 6th, 7th, and 8thinnings. The Blazers had a chance to take the lead in the 8th when MarleeMcManus came on the relieve Carson Summersett as the Knight pitcher to startthe inning. A walk, an error on the throw of a sacrifice bunt, and afielderƒs choice to short where Megan Woodall drew the throw home thenretreated back to 3rd, landed the bases loaded with no outs. McManus thenshowed why they brought her in at this point in the game, by striking outthree consecutive batters and leaving the bases loaded.

By high school rules, the 9th inning becomes a tie-break situation where bothteams start with a runner at 2nd base with no outs. In the top of the 9th forRidge View with Shatoya White at 2nd base, following a strikeout, KatherineStori looped a ball over 2nd for a single, but White was unable to score onthe play and had to hold at 3rd, leaving runners at the corners. McManusagain pitched out of trouble coaxing a strikeout, then a groundout to 2nd toget out of the inning.

In the bottom of the 9th for West Florence, starting with a runner at 2nd, theleadoff hitter Whitney Helton bunted down third reaching when the ball wasmishandled on the pick-up. Dimock then walked (unintentionally intentional)the next hitter to load the bases. The next batter chopped a ball straightdown, and made contact with the ball as they left the batterƒs box in fairterritory for the first out. Blair Ritch then hit a ‚singleƒ over the leftfielder, driving in Jamie Wiggins for the walk-off game-winner.

Ridge View had chances late, but were unable to push the go-ahead run acrossin the 8th and 9th innings. A tough way to lose, but the Blazers came backfrom an early deficit and made this a very exciting 9-inning game. This wasthe final regular season game for the Blazers (8-16, 4-6), and they will takeon Gaffney (19-2, 10-0) in the opening round of the 4A playoffs on Thursday atGaffney.

Ridge View 6 West Florence 7 (9-innings)

RV:Megan Woodall - ss (2-5, 2 rbi, 2 runs)Stephanie Junker - cf (1-1, sac)Katelyn Smith - c (1-5, rbi)Stephanie Sweatman - 1b (1-5, rbi, SB)Brooke Dimock - p (3-5, 2 runs)Katherine Stori - lf (1-4, sac, SB)Natalie Davis - 2b (1-4, run, sac, SB)

WF:Demi Palles - lf (1-2, 2B, run)Blair Ritch - ss (2-5, 3B, 2 rbi, 2 runs)Marlee McManus - dp,p (2-4, 2B, 3 rbi, run)Elizabeth Braswell - 1b (1-4, 3B, rbi)

WP - Marlee McManus (2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 5 K, 1 BB) Krissy Wike (3 1/3 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 0 K, 1 BB) Carson Summerset (3 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 2 K, 0 BB)LP - Brooke Dimock (7-13, 8 1/3 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 6 H, 4 K, 2 BB, 2 HP)