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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Cloverdale softball downs GHS 6-5

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How does a coach feel after a win in which her team commits six errors? Fortunate.

Cloverdale shortstop Kristen McCammon (left) lays a tag on Greencastle's Briana Baker in a botched steal attempt Monday night. The play ended the second inning for GHS.
But a little good fortune never hurt a team trying to find itself and Cloverdale coach Stacey Falls knows that. Sometimes it's good to get a win even when you don't play your best game.

"We needed a game like this where it started to come back on us and we were able to stop it," she said.

But the Clovers certainly did not win on luck alone. With Greencastle fresh off of Saturday's Putnam County Championship and playing on their home field, Cloverdale jumped on them early, with a first-inning home run and five more runs in the third Monday evening.

While Greencastle (12-8, 6-5 WCC) was able to claw back in the game, the Clovers (6-10, 6-5 WCC) held on for the 6-5 win.

"I think this is the corner we were looking to turn," Falls said. "I think all along I've believed in them and there were girls on the team that believed. We've taken our hits early and I think we're going to gel at around the right time."

Kristen McCammon got things going for the Clovers when she took the first pitch she saw in the first over the center field fence, putting the team up 1-0.

"That leadoff home run helped get the juice going," Falls said.

However, the Tiger Cubs came right back with a run of their own. Cassie Alspaugh reached on an infield single, stole second and then scored on an error following Mallory Miller's groundout.

The score remained tied at one until the Clovers cut loose in the third.

With one out in the inning, Kate Chambers sent a double to left field. Kayla Shepherd followed that with an RBI single. Two hitters later, Martika Byrd singled in both Shepherd and McCammon, who had also singled.

Breegan Anderson then singled with a bunt before Chelsie Haltom knocked in both Byrd and Anderson with a single.

The six consecutive hits and six total runs were enough to get Greencastle starter Briana Baker pulled after just two-and-two-thirds innings. After 10 innings and two wins on Saturday, the freshman didn't seem to have much left in the tank Monday. She allowed six runs on seven hits to take the loss.

"We talked a lot about having quality at bats and playing on our ability, not our emotion. We took a little more, made them work a little more and it put the pressure on them. It worked in our favor," Falls commented.

Fellow freshman Miller came in to relieve Baker. She took care of the Clovers the rest of the way, striking out eight with giving up just two hits.

The damage had been done, though. Cloverdale led 6-1 after the third.

Greencastle began to mount its comeback in the bottom of the fourth. Alspaugh opened the inning by reaching on an error. This would be a common theme, as Cloverdale committed three of its six errors in the inning.

After Miller reached on a fielder's choice, Sarah Land and Veronica Sawyer loaded the bases with consecutive singles. Sam Sillery knocked in Miller on a second error. Baker then drove in Land with a sacrifice fly.

Two batters later, Sam Rising drove in the third run of the inning on yet another error.

The three runs got the Cubs back within two, but missed opportunities abounded, as the inning ended with a bases-loaded strikeout.

"They fought back and gave everything that they had to get back in the game. It just wasn't enough," GHS coach Dave Keller said. "We couldn't come up with the key, timely hit like we did Saturday."

The fifth also started out with much promise, as Alspaugh and Miller opened with a pair of singles. But Sillery's RBI groundout was the only run they managed, leaving them one run behind.

After a scoreless sixth, Greencastle appeared to have one last chance in the seventh, as Alspaugh reached on an error and stole second. But the game ended at third base as she got caught between second and third on a groundout before being tagged out in a rare 6-3-5 double play.

Nicole Mowery threw well for the Clovers, going the distance for the win. She allowed five runs on five hits and a pair of walks.

At night's end, Keller simply had to tip his hat to an opponent who played better on Monday night.

"I give all the credit to them. They played a good game," he said. "We were kind of on a high from the weekend and it was tough to get back into it. We just struggled a little bit and they hit the ball. They deserved to win the game. We didn't.

"That's a good team," Keller continued. "I'm surprised they don't have a better record than they do. They're hitters."

Things are looking up for Falls and the Clovers. They win got them above .500 in the WCC and has them headed in the right direction with sectional just a week away.

"This was a real corner-turner for us in that, 'Yes, we can do this and, yes, we're here to stay.' We're a force to be reckoned with now," she said.

The Clovers host the Tiger Cubs at 4:30 p.m. today.

At Greencastle

Cloverdale 105 000 0 -- 6 9 6

Greencastle 100 310 0 -- 5 5 2

Mowery and Byrd; Baker, M. Miller (3) and Alspaugh.

WP -- Mowery.

LP -- Baker.

2B -- Chambers, Shepherd (Cl).

HR -- McCammon (Cl).

Next game -- Cloverdale (6-10, 6-5 WCC) hosts Greencastle (12-8, 6-5 WCC) at 4:30 p.m. today.

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