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Devils storm past Holston

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Cortney Halsey's hit capped a stunning rally as Grayson came back with four runs in the seventh.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

 INDEPENDENCE -- While the rest of the country was busy celebrating Memorial Day, they were celebrating a memorable day in Grayson County.

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The Blue Devils pulled off an incredible comeback, rallying for four runs in the bottom of the seventh and stunning Holston 8-7 Monday in the Region C quarterfinals at B.A. Rhudy Fields.

Heading into its final turn at bat, Grayson County was seemingly through for the year, trailing 7-4 after having committed an unsightly seven errors. The Cavaliers had been solid defensively up to that point with just one miscue, but fell apart in the field with four seventh-inning errors, including three on two routine ground balls to second baseman Stephanie Fritts. Kayla Spurlin led off by reaching on a booted grounder, and following a strikeout, Traci Crigger’s grounder to second resulted in a fielding error and a throwing error, putting runners on second and third.

Stephanie Caudill looped an RBI single into shallow right to score Spurlin before Autumn Pierce’s one-hopper skipped off the glove of pitcher Morgan Lowe and through the hole into left for a single, plating Crigger. The ball skittered under the glove of leftfielder Jessica Bebber, allowing pinch runner Taylor Hale to score, and suddenly the Blue Devils had drawn even at 7-7.

Cortney Halsey followed with the only clean base hit of the inning, a hard grounder up the middle that plated pinch runner Jordan Hensley with the winning run.

“They had that never-say-die attitude,” Grayson County coach Tim Hollingsworth said. “We made a lot of errors that got us in that position, but they came back with the bats and made up for it. I’m proud of them.”

Grayson County had all but gift-wrapped a Holston win in the early going with uncharacteristically shaky defense. After taking a 1-0 lead in the second on Pierce’s RBI single, the Blue Devils committed five errors in the next two innings as the Cavaliers scored once in the third and two more in the fourth. Mary Hand tripled home a run and scored on Megan Honaker’s single for a 3-1 lead.

“I don’t know if it was jitters or what,” Hollingsworth said. “We’ve made those plays all year, we just didn’t today. We’ve been preaching the little things all year, and today we didn’t do the little things, but we made up for it at the plate. We put it in play and made things happen.”

Holston’s lead stood until the bottom of the fifth, when Spurlin connected for an RBI single and Megan Wiggins singled to drive in two more, putting Grayson ahead 4-3.

Holston coupled four hits with two more Grayson County errors to surge back in front in the sixth. Lowe and Hand each singled in a run and Bebber added an RBI double for a 6-4 Cavalier lead. Faith Ritchie’s RBI single in the top of the seventh appeared to be just icing on the cake until Grayson’s remarkable comeback.

“We were still up and still in the game,” Hollingsworth said of his team entering its last time at the plate. “They’ve come back before and they knew they could do it, and once it started it snowballed, and it snowballed in our favor for a change.”

Pierce finished the day 3-for-4 while she and Wiggins had two RBIs each for the Blue Devils. Brianna Thomas had three hits and Honaker added two hits, three runs and four stolen bases for Holston, which left 11 runners stranded.

   

Holston            Grayson County

                          ab        r           h          bi                                       ab        r           h          bi

Honaker c         5          3          2          1           Vaughan c          4          1          1          0

Ritchie cf           4          0          2          1           Spurlin p             4          2          1          1

Lowe p              5          0          1          1            Wiggins ss        4          0          1          2

   Winters cr      0          1          0          0            Crigger 3b         4          2          1          0

Thomas 3b       4          1          3          1           Caudill rf            4          0          1          1

Rose dp            3          0          0          0               Hale pr            0          1          0          0    Bebber lf         1          0          1          1           Pierce 1b           4          0          3          2 Widner ss          4          0          1          0              Hensley pr      0          1          0          0

Lyon 1b              4          1          0          0           Halsey 2b          3          0          1          1

Fritts 2b              2          0          0          0           Bourne dp         2          0          0          0

Hand rf                4          1          1          1             Parks cf           1          0          0          0

                                                                               Parsons lf          3          1          2          0

Totals                 36        7          11        6                                       32        8          11        7   Holston                          001      203      1––7    11   5 Grayson County           010      030      4––8    11   7  

E – Lyon, Spurlin, Vaughan 2, Wiggins, Parsons, Pierce, Caudill, Fritts 3, Bebber. 3B – Hand. 2B – Crigger, Thomas. SB – Halsey 2, Honaker 4, Ritchie, Hale. LOB – Holston 11, Grayson County 8.

  Holston            ip         r           er         h          k          bb Lowe (L)          6.1       8          4          11        8          1 Grayson County Halsey             3.2       3          0          4          8          1 Spurlin (W)      3.1       4          4          7          3          0  

Wp – Lowe, Halsey. Hbp – (by Lowe) Halsey; (by Spurlin) Ritchie, Fritts.

One out when winning run scored.