Tharptown rally falls short at Belgreen

By Staff
Scot Beard
BELGREEN – A day after dropping a tough 7-6 game to Tharptown on Monday, the Belgreen varsity girls softball team knew it needed a win Tuesday to keep its hopes of hosting the area tournament alive.
The Lady Bulldogs responded by knocking off the Lady Wildcats 17-13, but it was not an easy victory.
Bridget Thompson and Katy Britton both scored in the bottom of the first inning to give Belgreen and early 2-0 lead.
Tharptown reduced the deficit to one run in the second inning when Braeden Sellers scored. The Lady Wildcats then took the lead with three runs in the third inning to move ahead 4-2.
Belgreen answered by scoring 10 runs in the bottom of the third inning as all nine players in the lineup scored with Britton scoring twice.
Instead of imploding, the Lady Wildcats showed resilience by adding four runs in the fourth inning as Chelsea McCluskey, Haley Hatton, Heather Hatton and Sellers all scored to cut Belgreen's lead to 12-8.
Tharptown added three more runs in the fifth inning when McCluskey, Haley Hatton and Heather Hatton scored to shrink the deficit to one run.
The Lady Wildcats took the lead in the top of the sixth as Heather Hatton and Ashley Nicholson scored to make the game 13-12 in Tharptown's advantage.
Belgreen wasted little time regaining the lead in the bottom of the sixth.
The lead off batter flied out before Thompson drew a walk and moved to second and third on a pair of pass balls.
Britton followed with another walk and moved to second on a single by Amber Smith that scored Thompson to tie the game.
Both runners moved up a base on another pass ball before Loren McVicker drove the runners home by reaching on an error by the Tharptown third baseman.
McVicker moved around the bases on a couple of pass balls and scored when Katelin Barber reached on another error. Barber stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a pass ball to give Belgreen a 17-13 lead.
Thompson struck out the first two Tharptown batters of the seventh inning and got the third to ground out to end the game.
Thompson picked up the win for Belgreen. She pitched two innings, giving up two hits, allowing two runs and striking out two.
McVicker started the game for Belgreen. She allowed 11 runs while giving up nine hits, walking eight and striking out seven.
Britton, Smith and Barber had two singles each to lead the Lady Bulldogs while Thompson and Erica Smith had one single each.
Chloe Lane led Tharptown with two singles and a double while McCluskey, Heather Hatton and Sellers had two singles each.
Kalen Smith and Nicholson had one single each for the Lady Wildcats.
Kalen Smith started the game on the mound for Tharptown and was replaced briefly by Heather Hatton before returning to pitch in the final innings.
They combined to pitch six innings, allowing eight hits. They struck out three and walked 15 and hit two batters.
With the win Belgreen improves to 5-3 overall and 1-1 in area play. Tharptown falls to 3-6 and 1-1 in the area.
The Lady Wildcats resume area play Monday at Phillips while Belgreen will play Tuesday at Vina.