Benton pulls off comeback
By TAYLOR MITCHELL
All season long Benton’s head softball coach Vince Davis has preached to his players they would play a full seven innings, no matter what.
“All year I’ve stressed to the girls that we’re going to play seven innings with no time limit,” Davis said. “We’re going to play seven innings, no matter if we’re up 10-0 or down by 10 runs. We‘re not quitting until after that seventh inning.”
That never-quit attitude paid off Monday night in a 6-5 victory over Manchester Academy after one of the most dramatic endings to a high school softball game this season that had everything from big plays to a 30-minute lightening delay.
Down 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Lady Raiders had just three outs to work with. After a quick first out, Lexi Guion got to first base on a hard hit ground ball to Lady Mav’s pitcher Kaitlyn Woods, who wasn’t able to field the ball and make the throw in time.
The next batter, Tristen Beith, moved Guion into scoring position and also put herself on base, bringing Benton’s lone senior, Nora Grace Davis, to the plate as the tying run.
She would do more than just tie the game.
On a 0-1 count, Davis smashed Woods’ pitch to center field and over the batting cages behind the fence, sending the entire the Lady Raiders’ dugout into a celebration.
“I got to the plate and she threw a pitch inside, but I didn’t think she was going to pitch to me because of the (intentional) walk before,” Davis said. “The second pitch was right down the middle and I jumped on it. As soon as I hit it, I knew it was gone. “
The game, however, wasn’t won yet.
Junior Jenny Reynolds hit a pitch that fell just behind Manchester’s third baseman during the next at-bat. Brittany McCausley hit the walk-off double to left field that drove in the speedy Reynolds from first base and giving Benton the 6-5 victory.
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