Game Summaries & Headlines.
The Forge Varsity Softball team evened its Commonwealth District record at 6-6 and also moved to 9-8 overall on the season with a grind it out 3-2 win over the Mountain View Wildcats on the road on Tuesday night. It was the second consecutive road win for the Forge and they have now won 4 out of the last 5 games, heading into the regular season finale against first place North Stafford on the road on Friday night.
The GREEN swept the season series with The View, winning at home back on March 13th by a score of 9-1. This one was nowhere near the type of game that first rout was. This one was a battle and took 9 innings to crown a winner. An RBI single by Chesney “White Shoes” Benson in the top of the 9th put the Forge ahead 2-1, and after an out Taylor Long singled to give the Eagles the insurance they would need to put this one in the “W” column.
To say this game started off slow would be an understatement. Both teams struggled to get their offenses going and it was the Wildcats who had the only two hits in the game’s first three frames. Kayla Stephenson pitched just a strong game in the circle for the Forge, striking out 9 Wildcats to earn the win.
The GREEN didn’t have a hit but was the first team to threaten in top of the 4th inning. With one out Elyssa Cartagena reached on an error A couple of fielders choices that didn’t work out for the Wildcats had the bases loaded for the Forge but they couldn’t capitalize on the threat when Cartagena was thrown out at the plate for the second out of the inning and a strikeout ended the threat.
The Eagles went to the plate in the 5th and got it right. Senior Mya “Bam-Bam” Tino led off with a rocket in the right centerfield gap that went all the way to the fence for triple. “That felt amazing” said a very relieved Tino after the contest. Taylor Long then hit a sacrifice fly to right that was deep enough to score Tino and the “good gals” were on the board at 1-0.
The home team would respond in their half of the 5th with a leadoff single, a sacrifice bunt and another single that put Wildcats on the corners with one out. Stephenson reached back and got a huge strikeout for the second out and when the next batter grounded into the big glove of Cartegena, the fire was extinguished with the Forge still in the lead by a run.
The View would threaten again in the sixth with a leadoff walk, an error that again put runners on the corners with nobody out. Again, Stephenson got two HUGE strikeouts in between a ground ball to second and the home team had left another threat on the base paths.
The Forge looked to extend their lead in the seventh when with two outs, Tino hit another deep drive to right center for another triple and it looked like the drive would pay off when Long hit a ball on the screws that was run down in right field for the third out, stranding Tino at third base.
In the Eagles eighth, the Forge got a little greedy and it cost them a big inning. Izzy Wylie led off with a single and when Kyleigh Tierney was called on to sacrifice, she was thrown out pitcher to first, but on the play Wylie tried to make it to third and was gunned down for the double play. “It was on me”, said head coach Jim Edwards post game. “I tried to get a little too aggressive there”. The miscue didn’t seem to effect Stephenson as she was still in the circle, throwing hard and mowing down the Cats.
The game would go to the ninth inning, and each team started the innings with a runner on second. Stephenson led off the Eagle half of the inning with Cartagena in scoring position. She would ground out to first base, sending Cartagena around to third on the play. Benson didn’t leave her there long driving the first pitch for an RBI single to put the Eagles on top 2-1. An out latter Long drove in Benson and the Forge had a 3-1 lead with three outs to go.
The home half of the inning was an adventure that almost cost the Forge. The leadoff batter bunted the ball to the right side and the infield played a game of “I got it, you take it” turning the first out into a hit that scored the runner from second to cut the lead to 3-2 with nobody out and the tying run in scoring position. Another Stephenson strikeout gave the Eagles two outs away. A fly ball to Tino at short brought the Wildcats down to their final out, but an error by long on what would have been a game ending groundout got through and again put runners at the corners with two outs. Stephenson saved the best for last, getting her 9th strikeout at the most important time of the game…..to end it and give the Eagles their ninth victory of the year.
They battled and they certainly earned it and now it comes down to a trip to North Stafford on Friday night to see where the Eagles will land when the Commonwealth District tournament starts next week.