by tate russell
sun sports writer
GREENEVILLE – Aggressive base running paired with dominant defense help carry North Greene to a 12-0 softball victory over visiting Hancock County Monday afternoon.
In the contest, the Lady Huskies took 31 free bases on steal attempts, passed balls or wild pitches. They took 22 of those in the third inning and they plated eight of their 12 runs on pitches Hancock County catcher Michaela Bagley was not able to pull in.
“I think we played pretty good,” North Greene head coach Renee Light said. “I was proud of my young girls for playing smart and taking bases when they could.”
“Getting so many steals was huge. If you can get out there and seize those opportunities to get some runs across the plate when the ball gets past the catcher, that helps a ton.”
North Greene pitcher Talley Bailey frustrated the Lady Indians' batters all afternoon, retiring eight on strike outs and giving up only two hits in the five-inning game.
“I was proud of Talley,” Light said. “She's been struggling a little bit recently. Today I feel like she did a lot better and she got her pitches down.”
Bailey started the game by fanning the first three batters she faced to give the Lady Huskies some early momentum.
They used that momentum to take an early 3-0 lead in their first at-bat. Corrine Guelli, who reached after being hit by a pitch and advanced on a pair of steals, scored the game's first run on a single from Mendy McNeese. McNeese crossed on a wild pitch, as did Julia Penley who took a total of three bases on wild pitches to earn her run.
Hancock Pitcher Mckenzie Johnson not only struggled to find the strike zone in the third inning, she struggled to find her catcher. The first five Lady Husky batters reached base on walks and the first three scored on wild pitches. A single by Macy McNeese scored Penley before McNeese and Brook Nelson scored on errant pitches.
Bailey followed by slapping a single down the third base line that scored Kelsey Palmer and Shayna Harmon. Mendy McNeese scored the ninth and final run of the third inning when a Penley single knocked her in from third.
The Lady Huskies had seven hits in the contest, led by Palmer with two. For the game, North Greene drew 11 walks and had two batters reach after being hit by a pitch.
Both of Hancock's hits came in the third inning when Libby Short knocked a fly ball to right field and Halyn Alder followed with a line drive to left. Bailey ended the inning on the next batter with a three pitch strike out of Johnson to escape the inning with no damage done.
north greene 6, cloudland 5
Julie Penley tripled and scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh to give North Greene a 6-5 win over Cloudland in recent District 1-A action.
The Huskies led 3-1 early, but a four-run fourth by Cloudland put the visitors in front. North Greene scored two runs in the sixth to even the game.
Corinne Guelli, Penley, Macy McNeese and Brooke Nelson had two hits apiece for the Huskies. Guelli drove in two runs.
Jessie Donahue was the winning pitcher in relief.