Eagles Down Griffins in crosstown matchup

WINNSBORO- Richard Winn met Fairfield Central Monday night in a battle of crosstown schools. Fairfield jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but it would not be enough and the Eagles walked out with a 7-4 victory.

“I told the kids I was proud of them,” Griffins’ head coach Gwen Rouse said. “I think we played a good game, we lost, but sometimes it’s not about the wins or losses and looking at who pitched against us I think we did a great job.”

Bailey Taylor walked the first Griffin batter of the game, but she settled down to get three straight outs, including two strike-outs. Taylor looked like a strikeout-artist with her 11 punch-outs in the game.

“My pitcher always does a great job,” Eagles’ head coach Millie Lambert said. “She throws hard, she plays her game, she calls her pitches and she knows what she’s good at for what batter.”

Despite Taylor’s strong showing and high strike-out numbers, the Griffins were able to get some momentum going early. China Woodard singled in the first, and came in on an error, then Nikedra Harper knocked in Tameshia Woodard to give Fairfield a 2-0 lead.

“I feel like we hit the ball good against her,” Rouse said. “We hit a lot of balls on the left side which was good compared to when we played them the first time.”

A walk and an error by Taylor in the second brought China Woodard back up to bat. Woodard singled again, but this time she scored the runner from the third, and Richard Winn’s deficit grew to three.

Then the Eagles exploded in the third, and they did not look back. The inning began with a groundout, but Sallie Costenbader sparked the offensive onslaught with a single and Riley Simpson, the next batter, reached on an error.

Alyssa Atkerson fields the ball and eyes down her third baseman before she makes her throw over to the bag.

 

Costenbader and Riley Simpson both scored on wild pitches while Gracie Atkerson was in the batter’s box. Atkerson walked on five-pitches, and next, Bailey Taylor stepped up to take her swings again.

Taylor, who’s already committed to Troy University, belted the ball out of the park for a two-run homer. She nearly homered in the first, but the ball pelted a tree, and stayed in play for a double.

“The girls came alive finally,” Lambert said. “Started hitting the ball, we had a couple of kids that don’t usually hit really good, but really came through for us today and was hitting every at bat, so I think that was a huge turning point.”

The home-run gave Richard Winn the lead for the first time, and the Eagles added some insurance to that lead, in the bottom half of the fourth. Again, the Eagles’ started the inning off with an out, but Riley Simpson doubled on the next at bat.

An error allowed Gracie Atkerson to reach base again, and this time the Griffins opted to intentionally walk Bailey Taylor. “She hit a home-run, you have to respect a good batter,” Rouse said.

Alyssa Atkerson followed Taylor’s intentional walk, and she picked up an RBI with a sac-fly out to left-field. Then Kimmy Albert beamed a two-RBI triple out in the right-field gap, for one of her four hits, and the Eagles went up 7-3.

The Griffins scored a run on an error in fifth, but they only managed two base-hits after the fourth inning and during that same stretch they struck-out four times. The game fittingly ended with another Taylor strike out.

“We can’t be beat if we can have one inning like the third inning,” Lambert said. “I don’t know many teams that’ll beat us, but we have to stay consistent, we have to play that one inning seven innings.” RWA: 0-0-0-4-3-0-7 FCHS: 0-2-1-0-0-0-0-4

Pitching: RWA– Bailey Taylor (W), CG, 7H, 4R, 2ER, 3BB, 11K. FCHS- Trenatee Roberts (L), CG, 8H, 7R, 5ER, 4BB, 1K.

Hitting: 1B- Riley Simpson, Kimmy Albert (3), Sallie Costenbader (RWA); Amari Jones, China Woodard (3), Nikedra Harper (2), Zanyha Rice (FCHS). 2B- Bailey Taylor (RWA). 3B- Kimmy Albert (RWA). HR- Bailey Taylor (RWA).

LOB: RWA- 6, FCHS- 7.