It was a back-and-forth affair after a slow start in Stanardsville, but by the end of the it William Monroe came out pretty confident with its ability to swing the bat in a 7-4 win over Monticello.
“Hitting just one of those things that’s contagious,” said Dragons assistant coach Melanie Lamb. “I think when one of the girls starts hitting the ball hard it just gets passed down, that these girls trend that way. It only takes one to get them all going.”
After a pair of scoreless innings to start, Monticello got on the board first in the top of the third when Hayley Shifflett came up with a 2-out RBI single to plate Alecia Barbour who reached base on a walk.
Monroe got a 2-out triple from Jessica Ford in the third, but was able to get her across the plate. However in the bottom of the fourth Savannah Meade was able to take advantage of a pair of singles from Morgan Lam and Rachel Hill with a 3-run homerun to make it 3-1 for the Dragons.
Monticello answered right back in the top of the fifth. After Emily Morris reached on an error, Kendall Morgan tore into a ball and launched it over the fence in centerfield for a game equalizing 2-run homer.
“We’ve got a lot of new faces this year and graduated a lot so we’re young but I thought we did somethings really well tonight, that we can take away somethings,” said Mustangs coach Greg Shifflett. “Kendall, that’s a sophomore that we’re super excited about and between she and Hayley, that’s the meat of the order where need to score a lot of our runs and they both hit well tonight.”
In the bottom of the fifth, the Dragons put together another 3-run rally that began with three straight doubles. Ford led the inning off with her double and scored after Emma Pickett’s RBI double. That was followed by an RBI double from Mara Woolford. Two batters later, Lam reached on an error and Monroe had a 6-3 lead to work.
“It’s a team thing, we keep eachother up,” Ford said. “We had been through (the order) a couple of times and we were starting to get our timing and we got it done.”
The two traded runs in the sixth and top of the seventh. Monroe extended its lead to 7-3 after a single from Ford before Pickett reached on an error. After back-to-back strikeouts to start the top of the seventh, Monticello was able to rally for a run with a single from Morris, a passed ball and then an RBI single from Gordon. However, Monroe’s defense came up with a catch in left field to end the game.
“We’ve got a lot of young talent out there that’s playing well with some older talent so we look at this group thinking that if we keep working hard we can go further than we did last year,” Lamb said.
Ford led all hitters with her 3-for-3 showing with a double, triple and a single. She was the lone Dragon with multiple hits. Meade was 1-for-2 with her HR and three RBI.
For the Mustangs, Shifflett and Gordon accounted for four of the team’s seven hits. Shifflett finished 2-for-4 with an RBI. Gordon went 2-for-4 with three RBI.
Monroe jumps right back into action Thursday with Orange at home. Monticello does the same with Waynesboro on the road.