- Special Sections
- Public Notices
INDEPENDENCE –– Perhaps Grayson County has been going about this whole thing the wrong way.
Unable to hold a lead midway to late in either of its first two games – both of them losses to Auburn – the Blue Devils instead rallied from a seven-run deficit over the final two innings Wednesday and edged Floyd County 8-7 in a nonconference game at the Grayson Recreation Park.
“It was good to be on this side of it,” said Blue Devil coach Tim Hollingsworth. “We felt like we had Auburn beat and we let it get away from us. But this is a good lesson, that it ain’t over until it’s over.”
Grayson County sent 13 batters to the plate against three Floyd County pitchers in the bottom of the sixth to turn a 7-0 deficit into a tie ballgame.
And Floyd County (3-3) never recorded an out in the bottom of the seventh.
Claire Circle led off with a double to right-center, Brady Cassell reached on an error that put runners on the corners and Rachel Burris lashed a line drive that snuck just under the glove of charging Floyd right fielder Holly Britt for a single, driving in Circle with the winning run.
Heading into the bottom of the seventh with its 2-3-4 hitters coming up, Grayson had to feel good about its chances.
“We were taking some pitches and seeing the ball good today,” Hollingsworth said. “We felt like we were seeing it and was on it, and we thought it was just a matter of time, and we did start putting it in play and things happened. We just started hitting it where they weren’t and it fell our way.”
The Blue Devils were all abut out of it after the fifth inning, coming up empty despite getting their first two batters on base against reliever Karlee Pendleton. Grayson County left 14 runners stranded on the day, nine in the first five innings.
But after a leadoff ground out to start the sixth, 10 straight Blue Devils reached base safely, starting with back-to-back singles from No. 8 and 9 hitters Amanda Creed and Nikki Lundy. Two batters later Grayson was on the board with a bases-loaded walk, one of four runs that would score in such a manner in the inning. One run crossed on a wild pitch while Cassell and Karly Morris each provided an RBI single.
Pendleton left the pitcher’s circle with the score 7-2 after experiencing pain in the wrist of her pitching arm, and Floyd starter Ashley Gallimore retook the position but was unable to find the strike zone, walking in three runs. Amanda Creed’s bases-loaded walk finally brought Grayson County even at 7-7 and ended the day for Gallimore as Mary Phillips came on to get the Buffaloes out of the jam with two quick outs.
Floyd County had pushed six runs across the plate in the top of the third to take what at the time seemed like a rather safe lead. None of the runs were earned as the Blue Devils committed four errors. Britt roped a two-run double to the right field corner to highlight the rally.
“Early in the season, no scrimmages and only playing two games, we’re still shaking off the rust but I feel like we’ll come around in time,” Hollingsworth said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do but it’s still early.”
Riley Underwood tacked on a run for the Buffaloes with an RBI double in the top of the fourth.
Autumn Halsey took the pitcher’s circle with two on and none out in the fifth, working three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win. Halsey allowed one hit, striking out four and walking none.
Seven different Blue Devils had at least one hit, led by Claire Circle’s 2-for-3 day.
Floyd County...........006 100 0––7 7 1
Grayson County......000 007 1––8 8 4
Gallimore, Pendleton (5), Gallimore (r.e. 6), Phillips (6) and Whitlow. Callahan, Halsey (5) and Cassell. W – Halsey. L – Phillips. 2B – Britt, Underwood, C.Circle.