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With a combined six wins between them, Bruton and Jamestown were not battling for a top spot in the Bay Rivers District on Tuesday.
Instead, both teams were fighting for pride, looking for positives to build on late in the season.
“A lot of these games come down to pride,” Bruton Coach Danny Williams said after the game. “We want to do something special here. You just have to suck it up and have pride in your play.”
Thanks to 15 stolen bases as a team, Bruton (5-10) got the better of Jamestown (2-13) on the road, winning 10-8 in a hard-fought contest.
Base running proved critical for both teams, though not in the same way. Bruton took advantage of solid base running and timely steals, while Jamestown squandered multiple opportunities with base running errors.
In the top of the first inning, Bruton’s DaSha Hill opened the game with a single before stealing second base. A Jamestown throwing error allowed the speedy Hill to make her way home for the game’s first run.
Leading 2-0 in the top of the second inning, Bruton once again displayed its superior base running. The Panthers stole five bases in the inning, repeatedly putting runners in scoring position.
With runners on second and third, Rachel Brotherton stepped to the plate and smacked a two-run double, which was followed by a Hill RBI sacrifice fly.
Leading 5-0 in the top of the third inning, Bruton’s Kelsey Sluss singled and promptly stole second and third base. After a wild pitch from the Jamestown pitcher, Sluss stole home and put the Panthers up 6-0.
“We’ve greatly improved our base running,” Williams said. “We aren’t running the bases like I want us to run them, but we’re definitely running them better than we were at the beginning of the season.”
Despite trailing by six runs early, Jamestown refused to back down from the challenge. The Eagles responded by plating three runs in the bottom of the third inning to close the gap.
Jamestown’s Samantha Lee smacked an RBI single before Marissa Oguendo added an RBI double. Later that inning, Oguendo would score from third base off a wild pitch by Sluss, cutting Bruton’s lead to 6-3.
Back-to-back RBI singles from Bruton in the top of the fourth inning extended the Panthers’ lead to 8-3.
Once again, Jamestown battled back. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Eagles delivered back-to-back RBI singles from Caroline Cherry and Emily Saintmire.
As was the theme of the game, Bruton responded with a counterattack of its own. The Panthers hit two RBI singles in the top of the sixth inning to go up 10-5.
Jamestown mounted one last comeback attempt in the bottom of the sixth inning. Having plated three runs already in the inning, cutting Bruton’s lead to 10-8, a groundout by Cherry ended the inning.
With the win, Bruton has tied last season’s win total with five games left to play. The Panthers will continue their season at home against Tabb on Friday.
Jamestown will look to earn a victory at home against York at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Bruton: 231;202;0 – 10 11 4
Jamestown: 003;023;0 – 8 12 10
WP: Kelsey Sluss
LP: Arianna Reynolds
Bruton: DaSha Hill (3-4, 4 SB), Kelsey Sluss (3-4, 2 RBIs)
Jamestown: Sam Lee (3-4, RBI), Jessica Mingo (1-3, RBI, SB, BB)
Warhill Displays Superior Offense and Defense Against Tabb
Warhill’s Colby Norris struck out 10 batters and allowed three hits during a 10-0 home win against Tabb on Tuesday.
Keely Rochard and Olivia Schulz paced the Warhill offense with each driving in a pair of runs.
Schulz started the game’s scoring by smacking a two-run double in the bottom of the third inning. Rochard followed Schulz’s lead by hitting a two-run single later that inning to put Warhill up 4-0.
The Lions took advantage of timely hitting to drive in runs in three of the last four innings. While Warhill thrived at the plate, Norris kept Tabb’s batters at bay.
Warhill (13-3) has won five consecutive games and has outscored its opponents 34-0 over the last three games. The Lions will travel to take on Grafton at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Tabb (8-8) will pay a visit to Bruton at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Tabb: 000;000;0 – 0 3 3
Warhill: 004;102;3 – 10 10 0
WP: Colby Norris
LP: Alexis Gore
Tabb: Amber Verstynen (1-3), Alexis Gore (1-3)
Warhill: Olivia Schulz (1-4, 2 RBIs), Keely Rochard (2-4, 2 RBIs)