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Tide comes to life, tops Bears

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Trailing by four runs at one point, Galax got it going and pulled away for a 10-run win.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

Held hitless and trailing Bland County  5-3 entering the bottom of the third, Galax exploded for seven runs and eventually polished off the Bears in five innings with a 15-5 Mountain Empire District win Tuesday at Mountain View Park.

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Bland County led 4-0  after the top of the second inning but Galax used a combination of three walks, two errors and two wild pitches to push three runs across in the bottom half of the inning.

The Bears tacked on a run in the top of the third but Galax finally timed Bland pitcher Haley Hodock in the home half.

After drawing a leadoff walk, Morgan Neff scored on Taylor Ashworth’s one-out double to the fence in left-center. Haley Reynolds’ ground ball caught a pebble and went for a bad hop single to drive in Ashworth, and Taylor Cummings doubled to the left-centerfield gap, knocking Reynolds in for Galax’s first lead of the afternoon.

Following a bases-loaded walk, Lauren Osborne scooted home on a wild pitch, Holly Cassell grounded out to score Cummings and Neff capped the uprising with a two-run single through the hole into left.

Cummings added an RBI single in the fourth before Galax finished the afternoon with four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Following Brittany Byrd’s leadoff single, Cassell hammered a Hodock pitch over the fence in left for a two-run home run. A walk and an error then set up Ashworth, who lined a 3-0 pitch into right for a two-run single and a 10-run lead.

As did Galax in the bottom of the third, Bland County got a lot from a little in taking the early 4-0 lead. The second of the Bears’ two hits was an RBI single by Gabby Swetnam, and the ball was misplayed in the outfield, allowing a second run to score.

Three Bland County batters reached on walks in the top of the second, with two of them eventually scoring on pitches to the backstop.

After Galax closed to 4-3, a leadoff walk for Bland would come around to score for a 5-3 Bears lead before the Maroon Tide bats warmed up. 

Ashworth was 2-for-3 with three RBIs for Galax and Cummings drove in two runs with a pair of hits. Reynolds also had two hits for Galax, which got all nine of its base hits after the second inning.

Cassell gave up singles to two of the first four batters she faced but held Bland hitless the rest of the way, though she walked seven. Cassell struck out six in five innings of work.

Galax also took advantage of 10 walks and 11 wild pitches by Hodock.