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Surviving a bases loaded situation with eight straight fouled-off pitches, Bunker Hillâ€™s Kadi Oâ€™Shell made her ninth toss count.
The junior pitcher managed to get the final out on the ninth pitch of a long at-bat in Fridayâ€™s game against South Iredell, preserving a shutout against the Lady Vikings (2-6, 1-1) and a perfect 2-0 record in the CVAC for Bunker Hill.
â€śSouth Iredell is a pretty scrappy bunch,â€ť said Lady Bears coach Danny Sifford. â€śYou have to play seven innings with them. They arenâ€™t just going to lay down, even if the score had been 8-0 or 9-0. They arenâ€™t going to lay down. They will fight you until the end.â€ť
Bunker Hill (3-1, 2-0) scored in the first inning when Oâ€™Shell plated Montana Lineberger on a fielderâ€™s choice RBI. The 1-0 lead remained the same for a majority of the game, but Sifford emphasized to his players the need to grow their lead further.
â€śI told the girls every inning they came in when we were up 1-0 that we had to separate ourselves,â€ť Sifford said. â€śWe need to score runs, put the bat on the ball and put it in play.â€ť
The coachâ€™s message finally paid off in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded for the Lady Bears, Anna Williams and Brittany Travis both scored on a throwing error by Vikings first baseman Elizabeth Coleman.
An inning later, Bunker Hill plated another pair of runs when Williams scored on a drawn walk, while Travis scampered home from third on a passed ball.
â€śThey made a couple of errors, and we were able to get 2-3 runs that way,â€ť Sifford said. â€śThat was a good thing. Any time you can put pressure on a teamâ€™s defense by making them field it and throw it, sometimes it starts snowballing on them. I think that is what happened to them because we were able to score 2-3 runs there and separate ourselves.â€ť
Up 5-0, Oâ€™Shell ran into some trouble with two outs in the seventh inning, loading the bases.
Oâ€™Shell said she was very much aware of the situation her team was in.
â€śThe next pitch could have been taken real far and they could have gotten runs in easily,â€ť she said. â€śI was really nervous.â€ť
With eight of her pitches fouled off in a row, Oâ€™Shell rared back a ninth time to earn a ground ball hit right at her feet, which she threw to Desirae Bebber for the out and victory.
Fred T. Foard 2, Hibriten 1 (10 innings)
Ashley Oliver connected on three hits, including a single and a double that scored one RBI, while Cierra Shull added three singles and an RBI to lead the Lady Tigers (7-0, 2-0) to an extra-inning win against the Lady Panthers.
Foard's Lexi Shubert pitched 10 innnings, striking out 15 batters, while allowing two hits and one run.
Maiden 13, West Caldwell 0
Hannah Callahan tossed her third no-hitter of the season, striking out nine Lady Warrior batters in a shutout conference victory.
Caroline Ward paced the Lady Blue Devils (7-1, 2-0) offensively with a 3-for-3 performance from the plate.
Fred T. Foard 0, Hibriten 0
The Lady Tigers and Lady Panthers played to a scoreless tie in Northwestern 3A/4A conference action.
Jennifer Montoya saved eight shots in goal for Fred T. Foard (6-1-2, 1-0-1), while Aleigha Patterson saved 10 Foard shots in goal for Hibriten (3-2-3, 0-1-1).
Highland Tech 3, Bunker Hill 2
Bunker Hill couldnâ€™t hold a 2-0 halftime lead at home Friday, giving up a trio of second half goals to fall to Highland Tech, 3-2.
Angel Estep gave the Lady Bears (1-7-0) a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute on a goal scored on an assist from Wilbelis Rojas.
Maintaining its 1-0 advantage throughout much of the first half, Bunker Hill got an unassisted Rojas goal in the 39th minute to take a 2-0 lead into the halftime break.
The goal was Rojasâ€™ ninth on the season.
Highland Tech immediately narrowed its deficit in the second half as Elizabeth Maney scored on a cross pass to make it a 2-1 match.
Seventeen minutes later, Kasey McDaniels pocketed another Rams goal on an assist from Monica Rice.
Tied in the late moments, Highland Tech (2-3) scored with seven minutes remaining on a deflected shot kicked in by Karen Fowler to give the Lady Rams the come-from-behind victory.
Maiden 2, West Caldwell 2
The Lady Blue Devils forced an overtime tie in conference play with free kick goal by Rachel Pritchard in the 72nd minute. Neither team was able to score in the extra session, giving the two squads a tie.
Katie Foster scored the other goal for Maiden (0-3, 0-1) in the 55th minute.
Maiden 11, West Caldwell 0
Maiden picked up an 11-0 conference baseball victory against West Caldwell on Friday in five innings.
Luke Setzer entered the fifth inning with a no hitter with two outs. He finished the game with eight strikeouts.
Randal Ortiz drove in three runs on the double in the second. Teammate Dustin Hipps followed that up with a two-run single in the third inning.
Three more Maiden runs scored on walks in the fourth inning.
Bandys 10, Newton-Conover 0
Behind a 2-for-3 performance by Jackson Gilliam from the plate that included three RBIs, the Trojans picked up the shutout victory against the Red Devils in CVAC play.
Colton Pinder also went 2-for-4 from the plate with an RBI for Bandys.
Hayden Deal earned the victory on the mound, pitching five innings, striking out eight, walking two and allowing one hit.
Maiden 9, West Caldwell 0
Jarrod Mitchell(M) def. Taiwan Harper 6-0, 6-1; Zach Koch(M) def. Billy Dziesincki 6-0, 6-0; Yeng Yang(M) def. Blake Chandler 6-0, 6-0; A.J. Key(M) def. Brandon Crisp 6-0, 6-0; Hunter Ardrey(M) def. Jonathan Raby 6-0, 6-0; Sou Yang(M) won via forfeit.
Mitchell/Koch(M) def. Harper/Chandler 8-0; Sou Yang/Vou Lee(M) def. Dziesincki/Raby 8-0; James Macemore/Avery Rudisill(M) won via forfeit.
South Iredell 6, Bunker Hill 2
Patrick Hensley (SI) def. Stefan Gettys 6-0, 6-1; Marcus Guerrero (SI) def. Kris Trihemasava 7-6 (5), 6-4; Dexter Billingham (SI) def. Garrett Williams 6-1, 6-4; Rahi Patel (SI) def. Nicholas Lee 4-6, 7-6 (3), 1-0 (5); David Chang (BH) def. Matt Pryor 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (4); Travis Lawrence (SI) def. Sai Vang 6-2, 6-3.
Hensley-Billingham (SI) def. Gettys-Trihemasava 8-3; G. Williams-N. Lee (BH) def. Guerrero-Pryor 8-3; Chang-Vang (BH) tied Lawrence-Dhru Patel 7-7 Match stopped due to weather.