The last thing on anyone’s mind on a balmy Tuesday night at Middle Creek High was a snowball.
Except for the Fuquay-Varina softball team.
Down four heading into the top of the fifth inning, the Bengals got a double by sophomore Chloe Baker, then back-to-back one-out home runs over the left-field fence by sophomore Alyssa Smith and junior Paige Barrett to spark a six-run rally as part of a 15-hit night as the visitors claimed a 13-10 Southwest Wake Athletic Conference victory.
“We got going and it all started snowballing,” Bengals coach Deborah Clarke said. “We got hit, after hit, after hit, after hit.”
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It was enjoyable, Smith said.
“It did snowball,” she said. “We have great chemistry when we are having fun. And when we did, the bats came out hot.”
Smith went 3 for 4 with five RBIs. Adding a double and a stolen base. Barrett’s long ball a career-first as she went 2 for 4 with three RBIs.
“Back to back, that was awesome,” Barrett said. “Hopefully, it will continue.”
The hits certainly continued for Fuquay-Varina, which snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 4-5 overall and 3-3 in the SWAC. After the home runs made it 8-7, senior Brianna Smith got an infield single, sophomore Madison Golas was hit by a pitch. After a fielder’s choice groundout by sophomore Katie Caron forced Smith, sophomore Cecilia Pasquarella singled and an error in the outfield allowed Golas to score. Sophomore Ada Previtte followed by smacking a two-RBI double to make it 10-8.
The Bengals added two more in the sixth, keyed by an RBI double by Smith, who also pitched the final three innings – striking out six.
Middle Creek (3-4, 3-2) got two runs back in the sixth when sophomore Claudia Penny hit a two-RBI double.
In the top of the seventh, F-V added a run on a wild pitch. Sophomore Tianna Langley and freshman Shelby Cornett reached on singles in the bottom of the frame for the Mustangs, but they were both left stranded when Smith coaxed a liner to right.
She said she wasn’t fazed when Middle Creek threatened late.
“I just needed to stay calm and know my defense will back me up,” she said.
Middle Creek was paced by the 4-for-4 night of Cornett, who had an RBI triple and RBI hit-by-pitch. Sophomore Christina Mitten and freshman Ella Pierce each had two RBIs.
Cornett said the Mustangs left too many runners hanging out on the bases.
“We can’t leave that many people on base,” she said of the nine runners Middle Creek stranded. “We have to hit the ball harder into the gaps.”