In a game where the lead shifted back and forth West Stokes earned final bragging rights in a 7-6 conference win over South Stokes on Thursday night.
“This was a big win for us. South Stokes is a good team and they made us work for it. It took us to extra innings and kept us pushing to see if we were going to attack back,” said West Stokes coach Jordan Stevens.
Lady Wildcats leadoff batter, Ashley Philyaw began with a double to center. Philyaw stole third and went on to score off a single from Cheridan Joyce.
South tied the game 1-1 when senior Brooke Meadows drove in the Sauras first run. Katie Manring, a powerhouse at the plate, took an offering from pitcher Mackenize Parker and launched it over the right field fence.
“South has a lot of tools they can use. It was a battle to the end,” Stevens said.
West pushed ahead again in the fourth inning with a two-run homer from Taylor Perkins.
“We’re starting to see quality bats,” Stevens said. “Their approach to the game has changed and they’re finally getting aggressive. I told them the first good pitch you see attack it. I want them to be in attack mode the whole, entire game and I think we did that tonight.”
After knotting the game 5-5 in the seventh inning the Lady Wildcats took a 1-run lead.
At bat, Autumn Miller powered a homerun to keep the Sauras in the game and push the rivalry matchup to extra innings.
West tacked on another run in the top of the eighth, putting the pressure on the Lady Sauras.
With one out, Charley Fallin hammered a double to center field. West chose to walk Manring.
Lydia Jackson cracked a deep hit to left field and into the glove of senior Mariah Maynard to end the game.
Maynard, who usually plays third base, said as the ball was coming to her she almost froze, but instinctively caught it and started screaming.
“Going into extra innings made the game so much more intense,” she said. “It’s the last time I’ll play South and it was my goal to beat them. After they beat us the first time, we weren’t going to let it happen again. It was a great comeback win for us as a team.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.