It took awhile for the Corinth Holders softball team to find its power at the plate, during its Thursday night Two Rivers 3A Conference game against South Johnston, but it found it when it needed it.
Trailing by four runs after just two innings of play, the Pirates (6-4, 2-1) started coming through at the plate in the form of a pair of two-run homers and extra-inning spunk on their way to a 7-6 come-from-behind victory.
Kylie Keon led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a single and then advanced all the way to third base on Hailey Allen’s sacrifice bunt, which resulted in no one covering third base for the Trojans (3-7, 1-2).
During the next at-bat, Shanan Hester shot the ball through the hole between third base and shortstop, plating Keon with the winning run.
This all happened one inning after Ashlyn Biethman extended the game thanks to a two-run homer.
“Coming into the seventh inning, there was a confidence that we could bring it back because we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again,” said Corinth Holders coach Jessica Potter. “The confidence knowing that we can put together the hits and score the runs to get back in the game.”
In a game where it had to play from behind for most of it, Corinth Holders finally prevented South Johnston from jumping on top again in the top of the eighth inning.
McKinley Johnson legged out an infield single to start things off for the Trojans and ended up on second base after the attempted throw to beat her got past first base. However, despite another infield single from Mackenzie Honeycutt, South Johnston was unable to bring in Johnson to take the lead.
Aiyana Campbell recorded a strikeout before inducing a pair of groundballs that Hester and Rebecca Parker handled easily to deny the Trojans in the top half of the eighth.
Three to watch
Ashlyn Biethman, Corinth Holders: The sophomore missed the cycle by just a triple and her clutch two-run homerun in the bottom of the seventh inning forced extra innings. Biethman was 3-for-4 on the night with two runs scored and two runs driven in and played her centerfield position well for the Pirates.
“I’m just thinking of a groundball to advance the base runner, just focus on the fundamentals of hitting,” Biethman said of her approach at the plate before her huge two-run seventh inning blast. “That’s what I did; it just went farther than I expected.”
Shanan Hester, Corinth Holders: Hester drove in the game-tying run in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring Savannah Phillips on a base hit to right field.
Then, in the bottom of the eighth inning with Kylie Keon waiting anxiously at third base, she came through with a walk-off single to left field that plated Keon for the game winning run.
Reagan Byrd, South Johnston: The junior left fielder came up with a huge inning-ending diving catch in the bottom of the fifth inning that prevented the hosts from tying the game up. Byrd reached base safely in all of her four at bats, went 2-for-2 with a pair of singles and made a heads up base running play in the top of the seventh inning.
After a missed bunt attempt stranded her halfway between third base and home plate, Byrd was successful in the ensuing rundown and eventually slid underneath the tag at home to give the Trojans the 6-4 lead.
They said it
Two nights before the Trojans were dealt the tough loss to Corinth Holders, South Johnston similarly surrendered a 6-1 lead at Cleveland before the Rams won with a walk-off base hit.
“I told them that errors are going to happen, things aren’t going to go their way and they aren’t going to get a hit every time but you’ve got to find a way to slam the door,” South Johnston coach Amanda Smith said. “We’re not doing things that we need to in crucial times…but we’re working and we’re going to get better.”
By the numbers
14: Total hits for Corinth Holders.
8: Innings pitched by the Pirates’ Aiyana Campbell. Campbell earned her second win of the season in her third complete game.
4: Homeruns on the season for the Pirates’ Rebecca Parker. In all, Corinth Holders has eight homeruns in its first 10 games.
“We have a lot of power on the team; sometimes we struggle showing it but sometimes we don’t,” said Biethman. “It depends on how we come out in that game. The power started to come; we all were ready for this game.”
4: Trojans with multi-hit games (Kandis Adams, Byrd, Mackenzie Honeycutt, Anna Webster).
3: Hits delivered by South Johnston’s Anna Webster.
Two Rivers 3A Conference Softball Standings