Pitching was the key factor between Holly Springs and Panther Creek as the Golden Hawks were able to defeat the Catamounts 2-0 Friday night.
It was an offensive struggle for both teams as there were runners left on base in key situations.
“I didn’t think we hit as well as we would of liked, but we worked together and stayed in it.” Holly Springs’ Ashton Jones said.
The first hit of the game didn’t come until the top of the fourth inning where Holly Springs’ M.K. Myers laid down a bunt for a base hit, then Brittany Brown added a single of her own. Holly Springs threatened with runners on first and second, but Panther Creek pitcher Cassidy Somers struck out the next three batters to get out of trouble.
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The first runs of the game didn’t come across until the top of the sixth inning where Holly Springs scored two.
Holly Springs’ Myers started the inning off by putting down a bunt and reaching base on an error. She then moved to second base off a bad throw. Brittany Brown came up next and hit a single to center, allowing Myers to move to third while she moved to second off a close play at third base.
With one out, Jones put down a bunt to the pitcher and was called out at first base on the force out, but a bad throw on a play at the plate allowed two runs to score.
Holly Springs (5-3, 3-2) went to “small ball” towards the end of the game where they were able to put down key bunts, which caused the Catamounts to make mistakes.
“I went with small ball because we were struggling to slow our bat speed down and because their corners gave us space,” Holly Springs coach Emily Pierce said.
Jones was brilliant for the Golden Hawks, throwing a complete game. She allowed no runs, six hits and added six strikeouts.
Panther Creek’s Somers was outstanding as well as she started the game off retiring the first nine batters. Somers allowed two unearned runs, five hits, and recorded seven strikeouts.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Panther Creek (6-2, 4-2) Julia Barrineau led the inning off with a single and Alayna McNally drew a walk. The Catamounts threatened with runners on second and third to tie the game, but Jones came through with a strikeout to end the game.
“What makes good teams great is being able to keep your composure and execute in pressure situations. And today we executed for the most part, but we didn’t execute when we needed to,” Panther Creek coach Bryan Cromer said.