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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

South Putnam rallys in 7th inning for win over Cougars

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

(Photo)
Mattie Varvel [Order this photo]
ROACHDALE -- For six innings Monday, South Putnam's softball squad's mood reflected the weather -- downbeat. On the other hand, North Putnam was loose for those same innings.

But that's why they play seven.

In the final inning, South Putnam's offense came alive and scored six runs in the top of the inning, while the North Putnam offense stalled closing the game. The Eagles' soared back and defeated North Putnam 6-3 with their final-inning rally.

North Putnam came out the aggressor and it paid off in the bottom of the third when a pinch runner for starting pitcher Taylor Judy. Again, North Putnam put runs on the board in the fifth when catcher Dakota Malayer sent a shot that collided with the center field fence, just feet from being a home run. Lauren Green reached on a walk, and then Carlye McGaughey brought both runners home with a stand up triple.

Things weren't going quite so well for the Eagles.

For the first six innings, half of those saw three South Putnam batters go to the plate and all three recorded out. In the other three innings, four batters saw action at the plate. Despite their obvious struggles, head coach Chris Jones remained loose, with a huge smile, almost as if he knew what the seventh inning would hold.

As Jones pointed out, South Putnam got a lift going into the seventh inning when Malayer sent a shot to the right field fence. Eagle's right fielder Janet Crafton snagged the ball and fired it to shortstop Emily Dabkowski, who laid the tag on Malayer at second base for the final out of the inning.

That played proved to be a game-changer.

In the final inning, South Putnam began with No. 4 hitter and starting pitcher Brooke Boetjer, who earned a walk. After an error let Jenny Thompson reach first base, the Eagles' bats caught fire.

Jenna Jones, Crafton and Kelsey Whitaker recorded back-to-back-to-back doubles, erasing the Cougars' lead and putting them up by one at 4-3. Adding some icing to the cake, Mattie Varvel chipped in South Putnam's fourth double of the inning, scoring Whitaker and Brenly Bratcher and making it 6-3 in favor of the Eagles.

Watching as their lead vanished, the Cougars had one last shot to make a run, but the newly upbeat Eagles had no intention of going to extra innings. With a newfound bounce in their step, South Putnam was able to stifle the North Putnam offense in the final half inning to venture back home with the win.

Boetjer and Judy combined for 19 strikeouts in two worthy performances for their squads.

On Tuesday, South Putnam (14-1) downed North Putnam (7-4) in a battle of county foes. The Eagles won 5-4.

Varvel pitched a complete game for the Eagles, allowing five hits and allowing only one earned run and four strikeouts. She also was 1-for-3 at the plate with a home run and two RBIs. Thompson was 2-for-2 at the plate with one run scored.

At North Putnam

South Putnam 000 000 6 -- 6 7 1

North Putnam 001 020 0 -- 3 7 2

WP -- Boetjer

LP -- Judy

3B -- McGaughey

2B -- Malayer (NP); Varvel, Welch, Jones, Crafton, Whitaker