Corinth Holders had never beaten county rival South Johnston in softball before this season, and going into the final half-inning on Monday night it looked as if that would continue.
But the Pirates exploded for three runs in the seventh, with Holly Price’s two-out double to left bringing Hanna Mizell home with the winner as Corinth Holders took a 3-2 victory.
The win improved the Pirates to 4-3, 1-1 in Two Rivers 3A Conference play, while South fell to 3-5 and 0-2.
Corinth Holders is in its fifth year of existence.
“We kind of sat back for some reason,” said second-year Corinth Holders coach Jessica Potter. “But we’ve been behind in every game. We just came into our own in the seventh inning, decided what we needed to do and we did it.
“Maybe we had a mental block against South. This was an overall great team effort.”
The Trojans finished with nine hits to the Pirates’ seven.
Both pitchers were solid. Corinth Holders sophomore Aiyana Campbell struck out seven, while South junior Dinalee Spell fanned four. Neither allowed a walk.
“I think we got nonchalant when we were up 2-0,” said first-year South coach Amanda Smith. “To me there was not enough energy. We talk about energy and focus and intensity, and in that seventh inning there was no chatter, nothing.
“You’ve got to bounce back. You can’t get scared on ground balls. Every other day we make the plays we didn’t make in the seventh inning.”
McKinley Johnson went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice and an RBI for the Trojans; Lily Allen was 2-for-3 and Caroline Dorman 2-for-4.
The Trojans broke the scoreless tie in the fifth as Reagan Byrd hit a one-out double and moved home on back-to-back sacrifice bunts from Johnson and Anna Webster.
They doubled the lead in the sixth when Allen doubled with one out and scored on Alex Woodall’s double.
“This was as good as I’ve pitched,” Campbell said. “I was hitting the outside corner and my defense was really good. I was really proud of the way everybody played, and we finally beat South.”
In the seventh, Victoria Hendricks started the winning rally with a double and moved over on Kylie Keon’s single. Mizell reached on a two-out, two-base error with both runners scoring on the play, and then Price hit a rope to left field for the win.
“This one feels great,” said the senior Price, who was also a key factor on the basketball team when it got its first win over county rival Cleveland in January. “Before I got to the plate that last time my teammates told me to get to the plate and work the count a little bit. I just found a good pitch and swung at it.”
Spell said everything seemed fine for South until the last inning.
“We were just not in the game and our heads were not in it in the last inning,” she said. “Corinth has their best team as far as I’ve seen. We’ll just see how we can do against them next time.”