JF, Staunton River in softball doozy

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Ferguson, Linkous lead Eagles to 3-1 win

By Mike Forster

  Staunton River’s bats finally came to life.  And not a minute too soon.

The Lady Eagles pieced together a three-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning, saving another fine pitching performance by Amanda Ferguson, and topping visiting Jefferson Forest by the score of 3-1.

“That’s a big win,” said SR Head Coach Duck Dellis.  “It’s always nice to beat a county rival.”

This one had all the look of Staunton River’s last couple of games:  good pitching, solid fielding and little hitting.

Jefferson Forest got its first run of the game in the first inning, when Regan Morris reached base on an error.  Morris was displaced at first by Ashley Hunter, who reached on a fielder’s choice.  Hailey Pinchbeck drew a walk to put runners on first and second.

Nina Grennon then stroked a shot that was too hot to handle for Eagle shortstop Lauren Mitchell.  Hunter scored on the play.

That 1-0 lead withstood five innings of play, as Ferguson and JF hurler Alexis Brown mowed ‘em down with aplomb.

JF’s best scoring opportunity came in the fourth, when Grennon led off with a single.  She was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lindsey Bare.  But Ferguson got Makayla Hostetter and Brown to hit long fly balls for outs, stranding Grennon.

With time running out, the Eagles finally stepped it up in the bottom of the sixth.

Ferguson hit a one-out single to right field.  Abby Moran came in to pinch run for the pitcher.

Catcher Michaela Hiett blasted a shot to left field for a double.

With Moran on third and Hiett on second, up stepped Morgan Linkous to the plate.

Linkous, who has proven herself to be one of the most reliable hitters on the team, showed that she can come through in the clutch.

The senior mauled a double to left field, scoring a clearly delighted Moran and Hiett.

As Linkous brushed off the dust at second base, she broke into a broad grin as the scoreboard flashed:  Guest Team 1, Home Team 2.

Addie Tuck then added the insurance run, bringing home Linkous on her sharp single to left field.

While Brown was able to get Sam Cisco “Kid” to pop out and Carol Rice to fly out, her team had only one inning left to overcome the deficit.

Ferguson would have none of that.  She got Brown to fly out to center.  Then she fell behind 3-0 to Skylar Morris before getting her to ground out to short.  Finally, she coaxed Callie O’Brien into grounding back to the circle.

“I think we really wanted this win,” said Ferguson.  “We have respect for (JF) and know they’re a good team.  But our team is really believing in itself.”


Game notes

-The win pushed the Golden Eagles’ record to 5-0 in Seminole District play.  Unfortunately for Staunton River, it no longer hangs its shingle in that esteemed district.  

Staunton River has gone 2-0 against both Heritage and Liberty, in addition to the win over JF.

-The win also ensured the Eagles of at least a share of the (unofficial) Bedford County championship.  Having already swept Liberty, Staunton River now stands 3-0 in intra-county play.  It has a single game remaining against JF (this Friday, in Forest).

-Brown put the Eagles down in order during the second, third and fourth innings.

-Ferguson did the same to the Lady Cavs in the second, sixth and seventh stanzas.