Myrtle needed not only a win over Ingomar, they needed to cover the run differential from an earlier loss to the Lady Falcons to have any hopes of making the playoffs. The Lady Hawks got the much-needed win, they won by eight runs which took care of the run differential, now they must rely on a West Union win over Ingomar and win their final division game against Hickory Flat to get them into the playoffs.
The Lady Hawks took a big step on Thursday as they defeated Ingomar 11-3 to improve to 2-3 in division. Coach Marty Cook said “I’m proud of the girls, we did what we had to do today, we had to beat them by five. Coach Wilbanks has got a good young team that hits the ball well and we played some excellent defense today. I was very proud of us rolling that double play at the end of the game.”
Ingomar threatened in the top of the first inning as the first two batters reached. A pop-up resulted in the first out. Myrtle was able to end the threat as fly ball to right center resulted in a double play as the runner on second tagged and was thrown out at third.
Myrtle came out swinging in the bottom of the first as they got their first three batters on and they all scored to put the Lady Hawks up 3-0 after one. Emily Cook doubled, Keely Chunn walked and Heather Smith reached on a misplayed fly ball which drove in the first run. Amber Cook hit into a fielder’s choice which plated the second run. Allie Bishop followed with a deep fly ball to drive in the third run to extend the Myrtle lead.
Ingomar came back in the top of the second and tied the game 3-3 as their pieced together four hits. For a short time it seemed as if the Lady Falcons might be able to seize the momentum as they sent eight batters to the plate during the inning. Myrtle came back in the bottom half of the second and took the lead for good as Audrey Kent reached on an error and later scored to put Myrtle back into the lead 4-3.
Neither team scored in the third inning and Ingomar failed to score in the top of the fourth. However Myrtle scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth to open a 9-3 lead. The Lady Hawks sent nine batters to the plate during the inning and used five hits, one error and one walk to place base runners on.
Lauren Coggin singled and scored, Audrey Kent reached on an error and scored, Ashton Hogue single and scored for Myrtle. Emily Cook and Keely Chunn both had hits and later scored for Myrtle.
Myrtle scored two more insurance runs in the sixth as eighth grader Karlie Bolden and Keely Chunn singled and scored. Chunn scored three runs on the day to lead Myrtle. This provided the final margin of 11-3.
Coach Cook said of his infield, I’ve been here eight years and this is probably the best middle infield that we’ve had. We’ve rolled more double plays this year than I’ve ever seen. They did a great job and the girls came through with some big hits. I’m proud of them, they did an awesome job.”
Division standings have West Union 5-0, Ingomar 3-2, Myrtle 2-3 and Hickory Flat 0-5. Should West Union defeat Ingomar and Myrtle win over Hickory Flat, Myrtle would have the tie-breaker over Ingomar and would advance to the playoffs. An Ingomar win or Myrtle loss would send Ingomar to the playoffs.
by Dennis Clayton
Follow Dennis on Twitter: @denclayton.