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OXFORD — The South Granville softball team mounted a clutch comeback to defeat the Webb Lady Warriors 6-4 on April 3.
The Lady Vikings (8-0) remained atop the Northern Carolina 1A/2A standings while Webb (6-4) dropped to fifth in the conference with the defeat.
“We came out strong in the first inning and could not close when it counted,” Meri Bostic, the senior shortstop for Webb, said. “We went up 4-0 in that first inning and had our chances. I’m not down, we just have to keep playing hard.”
Bostic, the leadoff batter for Webb, singled to start the game and moved to second on a wild pitch.
Jordon Englebright, a junior for Webb, bunted her way on base and sent Bostic to third. Taylor Hammett blasted a single with two outs to bring teammate Bostic across the plate for a 1-0 lead.
Marissa Carroll drew a walk for the Lady Warriors. Skye Frazier and Taylor Stovall hit back-to-back singles to drive in Englebright and Hammett for a 3-0 advantage. Bree Stovall singled to send Carroll home for a 4-0 lead.
The Lady Vikings did not appear rattled as they headed to the dugout. Ally Goss stepped in the batter’s box and delivered a single to start the second inning.
Savannah Thompson ripped a shot to straightaway center field that sent Taylor Stovall to the fence. Stovall had to leap to make the home run-saving catch for Webb.
Bailey Nelson pushed Goss around and Grace Calus blasted a shot to right field to score Goss.
South Granville was on the board and trimmed the deficit to 4-1.
The Lady Vikings chipped away at the Webb lead in the top of the third inning with Jenna Curry drawing a walk to start the inning. Jordan Talley dropped a bunt to push Curry into scoring position at second. Paige Strickland hit into a fielder’s choice that forced Talley out at second, but moved Curry to third. Goss sliced a ball that landed just out of Rachel Perez’s reach. Curry and Strickland scampered home to trim the lead to 4-3 in favor of the Lady Warriors.
The fourth inning was quiet for both teams, but the Lady Viking bats exploded in the top of the fifth inning with Shelby Talley taking the circle for Webb.
Shelby Talley walked Curry and Jordan Talley to start the fifth inning. Goss did her job and hit behind the runners to score Curry and Talley to give South Granville their first lead of the night at 5-4.
Goss timed the pitch and rolled over to second on a steal. Nelson hit into what should have been the third out, but a booted ball allowed Goss to score to put the Lady Vikings up 6-4 in the top of the fifth inning.
Webb had a chance to take the lead back in the bottom of the sixth inning when they loaded the bases with one out. Bowling was able to work out of the situation by getting Englebright and Shelby Talley to hit fly balls for easy outs.
The Lady Warriors had one last opportunity to tie it or win the game. Hammett singled to start the inning. Frazier then singled with one out and Hammett moved to second. Webb brought the winning run to the plate twice and each time the Lady Vikings denied the Webb the opportunity to score.
The two teams will meet again on May 2 at 6 p.m. on South Granville’s home field.
“This was a great rivalry,” South Granville coach Jackie Day said. “It is a huge message to us that it is the next opportunity for us to lose a ball game. They (Webb) beat Louisburg, that was huge. We have a target on our back and that 35-game win streak will come to an end sometime, but it just wasn’t tonight. Webb is a class act with a lot of good players.
“I think it did us good to get tagged in the first inning. We held our composure and we played our game. It was a good game.”
Bowling, a sophomore starting pitcher for the Lady Vikings, worked all seven innings, faced 35 batters and struck out six.
“When we got down, I knew we had to win so I had to adjust to what was being called and fix my mechanics,” Bowling said. “We want to have the same success this year that we had last season.”
Statistics – Jordan Talley (2-for-3), Paige Strickland (1-for-4), Bailey Nelson (RBI), Grace Calus (2-for-3, RBI), Ally Goss (3-for-4, 3 RBIs) and Savannah Thompson (RBI).
South Granville will travel to Roanoke Rapids on April 23 and to Granville Central on April 30.