Mount Pleasant pitcher Avery Ayers earned the win from the circle as she recorded 15 strikeouts on Thursday, helping lead Lady Tigers to a 4-1 win over the Marshall Lady Mavs in Game 1 of the best-of-three bi-district series at Pine Tree’s Lady Pirate Field.
“We didn’t hit,” Marshall head softball coach Alli Shepperd said. “We did not put the ball in play. At this point in the game, everybody is good so we have to bring our A-game and we didn’t bring it. We’re going to bring it tomorrow. They’re going to change their mentality at the plate and we’re going to bring it tomorrow.”
The Lady Mavs were only able to come away with two hits on the night. Cate Truelove went 1-for-3 with a double, one stolen base and the team’s only run. Adriana Vences singled and had one stolen base. She was given the loss on the night as she pitched six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, striking out nine batters and walking three batters.
Jordan Dickerson went 2-for-3 with a double, a single, a walk, cored one run and had one RBI. Carson Zachry reached on two singles, a fielder’s choice and a walk. Averie Ayers reached on three fielder’s choices and scored one run. Tatyana Wilkerson reached on one hit and scored one run. Maggie Lilly reached on an error and a hit-by-pitch which led to a run. Brooke Vaughn and Breasia Hargrave each had a base hit.
Marshall was the visiting and batted first as the top of the first saw the Lady Mavs go three up, three down. Zachry singled to lead off the bottom of the inning for the game’s first hit. She stole second to advance into scoring position. She made her way to third when Jordan Dickerson hit a 6-3 grounder for the second out. That was followed by a walk to put Mount Pleasant’s second runner on base but Adriana Vences struck out her second batter to close the inning, leaving both teams in search of their first run.
Adriana Vences got Marshall’s first hit with a leadoff single in the top of the second. That was the furthest she was able to get in the inning as the game remained scoreless heading to the bottom of the second where the Lady Tigers went three up, three down as Adriana Vences added two more strikeouts to her total.
A couple strikeouts and a fly ball to right field forced Marshall to go three up, three down in the topof the third. With one out, Zachry singled for her second hit of the night. She was thrown out when Ayers reached on a fielder’s choice. Ayers was brought home on an RBI double from Dickerson to score the first run of the game as the two teams entered the fourth inning with the Lady Tigers leading 1-0.
Cate Truelove led off the third with a standup double before stealing third. She tagged up to score on a sacrifice fly to centerfield, giving Ridgeway the RBI and the Lady Mavs their first run of the game, tying it up at 1-1 as they entered the bottom of the fourth inning.
Lilly reached on an error and advanced to second when Vaughn singled. Hargrave was walked and that loaded the bases with only one out. Baylee Craig came in as a courtesy runner and scored as Alvarez reached on a fielder’s choice RBI to put the Lady Tigers back in the lead. Vaughn was thrown out at home when Maycee Griffin threw home to Ridgeway. The Lady Mavs got their final out and entered the fifth inning trailing 2-1.
The Lady Mavs went three up, three down in the top of the fifth. Dickerson singled for her second hit of the game before stealing second and advancing to third on a base hit from Wilkerson. An error allowed Dickerson to score as Wilkerson took second. That put Mount Pleasant up by two runs. Lilly was hit by a pitch to put two runners on base. An RBI single from Hargrave brought Wilkerson home to make it a three-run ballgame. Lilly was tagged out at home for the final out of the inning, making it 4-1 entering the sixth inning.
Marshall went three up, three down yet again in the top of the sixth inning. Ayers reached on a fielder’s choice before Dickerson was walked. Adriana Vences added a strikeout for out No. 2. That was followed by a grounder for the final out, brining it to the top of the seventh inning where the Lady Mavs would have one last shot to tie or take the lead.
Ridgeway reached on an error that allowed her to reach second. Katelynn Jones came in as her courtesy runner and advanced to third. That was followed by a pair of strikeouts, leaving the Lady Tigers needing just one out away from the game one win. That was followed by the third strikeout of the inning, bringing her total to 15 and sealing up the 4-1 win.
Game two is set for 6:30 p.m. tonight back at Pine Tree. A third game, if needed, is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday at Pine Tree.