Softball NEWS

Big inning leads PHCC to double header sweep

April 22, 2014

Hitting can become contagious in softball.

Patrick Henry Community College’s team made that clear  Monday during the fourth inning of Game 2 of a doubleheader against Region X Division I opponent Louisburg College.24658_565105640187726_507256835_n

The Patriots (14-24) scored eight runs and belted out six hits in the inning to turn a 5-0 deficit into a three-run lead. That momentum took them to a 10-7 victory in game two at Martin Field in Martinsville.

PHCC won the first game with a walk-off 4-3 win on its way to an Easter Monday sweep of the Hurricanes.

“I think it was a great start to the week for us, and our girls came together today and hit the ball really well,” said Patriots catcher Allison Pentony, who finished the two games with a combined three hits — two in game two — and six RBIs. “One of the things this team does well is hitting. … Hitting is contagious, and that rally didn’t want to stop.”

PHCC batted around in the fourth, sending a total of 12 hitters to the plate. Pentony’s two-RBI single capped the scoring.

Sam Barton started the inning by reaching on an error. After a strikeout, PHCC strung together three consecutive hits to jump-start the rally. Tessa Bunting, Kelsey Meadows and Becca Hicks picked up the RBIs to make it a 5-3 game before the Patriots scored five two-out runs to take a three-run lead

“The big shift in hitting and having them turn their bats on would be good momentum heading into the conference tournament,” said first-year PHCC head coach Amanda Warley. “I was hoping this season if they did turn it on that it would be at the end of the season and to carry some of that momentum into the tournament.

“There’s always hope in softball. Anything can happen at any point of a game, and they definitely proved it today,” she added.

There didn’t seem to be much life or hope heading into the fourth as Louisburg tacked on three runs in the third inning thanks to a slew of PHCC miscues in the field. Three errors, including one in right field with two outs that scored two runs, had several players hanging their heads. Warley said she pulled the team together the next inning, and that seemed to light a spark once the bats came alive.

The coach also said she was a bit surprised when her team came out flat following an emotional victory in the opening game.

Hoping to see more mental toughness, she inserted one of her captains, Barton, into the circle to calm things down — and that’s exactly what last season’s all-Region X first-team selection did. In four innings of relief, Barton gave up two runs and five hits, recorded seven groundball outs, and made a reactionary game-ending catch on a line-drive.

“If (Barton) is anything on the mound, she is very mentally strong,” Warley said. “That is her asset on this team and she rides it well. Nothing ever seems to get to her.”

Pentony’s two-run double in the sixth added some breathing room for Barton in the seventh. The extra runs weren’t needed in the end, but without them, Louisburg would have stranded the potential tying run at third base in the final inning.

“We all kind of realize that the tournament is now less than two weeks away, and being so close, we are starting to play more to our potential,” Pentony said.

PHCC will take on Wake Tech in another doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. today at Martin Field. These will be the last regular-season home games for the Patriots.



Louisburg 3

The Patriots nearly squandered a three-run lead but were able to score a run in the bottom of the seventh to earn a 4-3 walk-off victory in the first game of Monday’s doubleheader at Martin Field.

Sam Cisco’s RBI-single with two outs brought in Mary Skillman with the winning run. Allison Pentony opened the scoring with a two-out, two-run single to right field in the first inning. Sam Barton then upped the lead 3-0 with a sacrifice fly in the third inning.

Louisburg got back in the game with a two-run home run by Megon Smith in the fifth. (Smith also homered in the game two loss.) Kim Mobley then went deep to tie the game at 3 in the sixth inning with a solo blast to left.

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