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There appears to be a pattern emerging here.
Scoring at least six runs in a single inning for the fourth game in a row, Grayson County broke open a 0-0 ballgame with a big fourth inning Thursday and held on to defeat Galax 8-4 in a Mountain Empire District softball game at Mountain View Park.
The Blue Devils (4-2) put up six runs in an inning for the second straight game, that coming after a 13-run frame in a win over Fort Chiswell and after overcoming a seven-run deficit in one inning against Floyd County.
Even Grayson’s losses have seen offensive explosions as the Blue Devils surrendered a 10-run inning in an opening-day setback to Auburn.
In Thursday’s win, however, most of the damage came with one swing of the bat.
After three scoreless innings, one of eight Galax errors brought across Grayson’s Karly Morris with the first run of the day, and Amanda Creed singled to knock in Haley Lawrence for a 2-0 Blue Devil lead.
Chelsie Callahan doubled and Claire Circle was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Autumn Halsey, who promptly emptied the basepaths with a line drive grand slam to center field.
Nobody benefitted from Halsey’s blast more than Halsey herself as the senior right-hander carried an 8-1 lead into the seventh before getting roughed up by the Tide.
Lawrence had doubled to drive in Morris in the top of the fifth, a run Galax would get back in the home half when Madison Shupe singled to score Ally Bartlett. Grayson County regained its seven-run advantage in the top of the sixth on Grace Circle’s RBI single, but the Maroon Tide refused to go down quietly in its final turn at bat. Shupe drove a one-out, two-run double into center field, and with two down Lauren Garvey singled to bring home Shupe.
Morgan Neff singled, putting two runners on base and ending Halsey’s time in the circle. Callahan came on in relief and walked her first batter to bring the potential tying run to the batter’s box, but then coaxed a fly ball to left to record the save.
Halsey had herself a day, going 2-for-4 with the four RBIs while picking up the pitching win with six and two-thirds innings of work. Rachel Burris added two hits for the Devils.
Shupe paced Galax offensively with her 3-for-4, three-RBI effort while Kylee Hill registered a double and two singles. Brittany Byrd was 2-for-4 for Galax.
Grayson County......000 611 0––8 10 0
Galax........................000 010 3––4 12 8
Halsey, Callahan (7) and B.Cassell. Garvey and H.Cassell. W – Halsey. L – Garvey. Sv. – Callahan. HR – Halsey, 4th, three on. 2B – Callahan, C.Circle, Burris, Lawrence (GC), Shupe, Hill (Gx).