Late bat prowess vaults NK over Tabb in BRD softball
Hitting technique worked on in practice paid dividends for New Kent’s Lady Trojans. With runners in scoring position in the bottom of the sixth inning and a tie game, Dominique Johnson slapped a RBI single into the opposite field for what proved to be the game winner in New Kent’s 3-2 victory over Bay Rivers District softball rival Tabb.
Johnson’s hit scored Nikki Jones, and the hosts held off a Tiger threat in the seventh and final frame to up their record to 8-3 with the April 21 outcome.
“Dominique went with the pitch,” her coach, Betsey Lane, said afterward. “It was outside, and we’ve been working on going with the pitch.”
Jones got her team started, drawing a one-out walk on a full count pitch from Tiger hurler Danielle Gleason. The next batter, Rachel Baldwin, laid down a sacrifice bunt, but was safe on an error on the throw to first. Jones, meanwhile, kept on running to third.
Baldwin raced to second just before Johnson, a right-handed batter, lined a Gleason pitch into right field. Jones scored easily, but Baldwin was thrown out at the plate. Fortunately for the hosts, the second run was not needed.
Tabb, however, did not give up quietly. Miranda Carpenter beat out a bunt to lead off the Tiger seventh. Back-to-back sacrifice bunts advanced Carpenter to third.
That brought up Katelin Kline who quickly ran up a two-strike count, missing bunt attempts on a pair of Ashley McMichael pitches. Kline stabbed at McMichael’s next offering, but fouled off the bunt try for a third strike to end the game.
Afterward, a relieved Lane said Kline’s bunting ploy on a two-strike count with the game on the line is not a strategy she would employ.
“I glad she did though,” the coach said.
Earlier, New Kent jumped on top 2-0 in the second inning after McMichael and Baldwin reached base on singles. Chelsea Bedwell delivered both with another single. Tabb evened the count on a two-run double in the third.
The Lady Trojans are without All-District second baseman Tyler Fleming who sustained a season-ending knee injury at Southampton. Baldwin has taken over second base duties.
“Rachel is doing a good job stepping in, but you can’t replace a player like Tyler,” Lane said.
Tabb’s Tigers mounted a 6-0 lead in the second inning, and New Kent’s host Trojans never recovered in dropping an 11-2 Bay Rivers District baseball decision.
“We didn’t give anything away. Tabb just hit the ball exceptionally well and played great,” New Kent coach Ronnie Cox said concerning the roof falling in on his team.
The Tigers vaulted on top 1-0 in the first, but poured on five more runs to take command in the second. Another five runs scored in the fifth.
Trailing 6-0 in the third, New Kent got one run back after Derrick Curtis drilled a two-out triple into the right-center field gap. He scored on Kirk Pomfrey’s single to right.
The Trojans closed the gap to 6-2 in the fourth on Kevin Peddicord’s solo home run over the fence in left-center.
The April 21 encounter dropped the Trojans to 6-5 and marked the first of three games in four days against the district’s elite teams.
“This is the week of all weeks,” Cox said. “I need to buy dinner for the guy who made the schedule.”