The THS Warriors softball team continued league play last week with back-to-back wins over rival East High.
The Warriors traveled to East on Wednesday and won a wild seesaw contest by a final score of 10-9. The Warriors fell behind early, trailing 3-0 after two innings, before managing to score two runs in the top of the third to cut the margin to one. East came right back in the bottom of the inning, however, with a three-run homer to make it a 6-2 deficit.
Apparently this got the Warriors' attention, as the Warrior women stormed back with five runs of their own in the fourth inning to take their first lead of the game at 7-6. Adding one more run in the fifth made it 8-6, but it wouldn't last, as the scrappy East squad put up three more runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth to retake the lead 9-8 going into the final inning.
This left the Warriors with their last at-bat to try for the win. Kennedy Caudle and Maddy Peel started off the inning with hits, followed by an RBI single from Erin Askins to score Caudle and tie the game. A wild pitch later scored Askins, giving the Warriors the 10-9 lead. Pitcher Bailey Damian struck out two batters in the bottom of the seventh, giving her nine strikeouts for the game, to end the thriller.
No less than seven Warriors had hits on the day, including Annabelle Carroll (4-5, 1 RBI), Caudle (3-4), Peel (2-3, 3 RBI), Askins (2-4, 3 RBI), and Deanna Hammer (2-4). Also adding to the 15-hit attack were Kristen Burgeis and Sierra Brown, each with a hit.
The Warriors then hosted East at home on Friday. In stark contrast to the 19 combined runs of the earlier game, this one was a tight pitching and defensive duel. The Warriors again found themselves down early, after East pushed across a run in the second inning to take the lead. The Warriors responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the third. A lead-off double to the gap from Damian, a single by Peel which scored pinch runner Michala McIrvin and left Peel on third thanks to a two-base error, and finally a base hit by Askins to plate Peel, gave the Warriors a 2-1 lead.
The Warriors added one more run in the fourth inning, thanks to Meghan Daffern's screaming line drive double off the fence, a sacrifice by Burgeis, and another East error, to take a slim 3-1 lead. Then, despite having runners in scoring position multiple times in the final three innings, a combination of timely pitches from Damian and outstanding team defense shut down the Blades to secure the 3-1 win.
Defensive highlights included a juggling foul pop-up catch by Brown at third base, an excellent dig for a key out at first by Askins, a leaping grab by Peel to steal a sure hit at second, and a laser-beam of a throw from Carroll in right field to gun down an East runner at second. Ashley McIrvin also had a strong game at shortstop, hoovering up nearly everything hit her way. Most onlookers agreed this was the squad's best all-around defensive game of the season.
The Warriors now find themselves in a dead heat with Independence and Ridgeview at the top of the South Yosemite League standings, all with identical 6-2 records. Next up are three games against Golden Valley, at home on Monday, April 23, and Friday, April 27, and at Golden Valley on Wednesday, April 25. All games are at 4 p.m.
Paul Askins is a team parent.