By Will Johnson
SLOCUM – The Lady Mustangs invited the Centerville Lady Tigers to Slocum for a District 21-2A softball game on Tuesday, March 20 and then proceeded to give their guests a good old-fashioned whooping as the Lady Mustangs defeated the Lady Tigers by a score of 7-1.
Jalyn Fletcher was in the circle for Slocum and retired the first two hitters she faced. The third batter she faced was her opposition in the circle for the Lady Tigers – Kayla Wilson. With an 0-1 count, Wilson took a Fletcher pitch up the middle for a base hit. Wilson would get no further than first base as Fletcher coaxed Sara Stutzman to hit an inning ending grounder to third.
When Slocum came to bat, Wilson was equally as effective as Fletcher – who opened the Slocum half of the first with a single. She stole second and advanced to third on Courtney January’s groundout. With Jessi Ives at the plate, Fletcher attempted to steal home but was tagged out by catcher Charmayne Hubbell.
Following an Ives groundout to end the inning, Fletcher was back in the circle and once again retired the first two batters she faced. After yielding a double to Hannah Matthews, Fletcher forced Reileigh Matthews to pop up to end the Centerville at-bat.
The Lady Mustangs struck for two runs in the bottom of the second on a two out rally. Both Taylor Clark and Briley Evers grounded out, but Kara Cumby came through with a single to keep the inning alive. She stole second and with two outs, when Shelby Bowman popped up just out of reach of the Lady Tigers second baseman, Cumby raced around the bases to score Slocum’s first run.
Bella McNeill singled to move Bowman to second and when Laney Lasiter doubled to left, Bowman crossed the dish to make the score 2-0. On the play, McNeill advanced to third but was stranded there when Fletcher grounded out.
Fletcher took out her frustration at not being able to drive in the run out on the Centerville batters when she went back to the circle. She struck out Ashlee Nickerson, got Ortega to ground out and then got Bailie Gray to swing at strike three to retire the side.
Slocum tacked on another run in the bottom of the third inning. Courtney January led off with a single and made her way to third on an Ives sacrifice. January scampered home from third when Clark roped a Wilson pitch down the third base line.
Wilson managed to get out of the inning with no further damage and turned the game over to her offense. It looked like the Lady Tigers might break into the scoring column as they put runners at second and third with two outs.
Fletcher, however, had a different plan and forced R. Matthews to ground to Clark at third. She threw to Evers at home who applied the tag to Stutzman – as she tried to score from third – to end the Centerville threat and send the game into the bottom of the fourth.
When the Lady Mustangs came to bat, they erupted for four runs to put the game out of reach. Bowman drew a walk to lead things off and was followed by McNeill who popped out. Back-to-back singles from Lasiter and Fletcher pushed Bowman across the plate to make the score 4-0.
January was up next and singled past third to drive in Lasiter. After Ives lined out to short, Clark ripped a double in to the left center field gap to plate January and Fletcher and make the score 7-0.
That was all the scoring for the Lady Mustangs as they coasted to a 7-1 win over the Lady Tigers.
Wilson took the loss for Centerville. She pitched six innings and gave up seven runs on 14 hits. She struck out three and walked one. Fletcher recorded the win with seven innings of work. She gave up one run on nine hits, struck out four and walked one.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.