The Lady Dragons softball team traveled to Anderson County to face the Lady Mavericks in a rivalry game that ended with a hard 12-0 loss for the Dragons as the Lady Mavs took 10 runs in the third inning.
While the Lady Dragons kept themselves in the game for the first two innings, giving up only two runs in the first and none in the second, the Lady Mavs took control at the plate during the third, with hits by Makayla Simmons, Abbie Buswell, and Lea Elkins all driving Anderson County higher and higher. Simmons finished with four RBI, while Buswell added three and Kaitlyn McKamey contributed two.
Clinton, meanwhile, struggled both at the plate and at the mound. Audri McKamey pitched for the Lady Dragons, finishing with 16 first-pitch strikes and two strikeouts, with a WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) of 3.75.
Reese Simpson pitched for the Lady Mavericks, finishing with 11 first-pitch strikes and four strikeouts, with a WHIP of 0.40.
Allen Russell, head coach for the Lady Mavs, said he was really pleased with the result.
“It’s Clinton,” he said. “It’s a rivalry game and to these girls, it’s just as big as football or anything else. They wanted to win. We hit some balls really hard and got some people on base.
“Abbie Buswell, a senior, stepped up and had a couple doubles. Makayla Simmons had a couple doubles. Lea Elkins had a triple. Reese Simpson pitched great in the circle. I think she gave up one hit in the fourth inning and had a no-hitter until then. Clinton put some balls in play and our defense stepped up and were ready for them. We just came out ready, they were motivated.
“I told the girls earlier this week, we have a lot of games this week and if we only get one this week, then this was the one I wanted, and they were motivated,” Russell said.
Leonard Sams, head coach for the Lady Dragons, said he’s not sure exactly what happened.
“Obviously giving up eight hits in two innings didn’t help, as well as errors. We gave up way too many hits today. Audri McKamey pitched lights-out last night, and I give her all the credit in the world, but I’m not sure exactly what happened on this one. Offensively, we just couldn’t get the ball out of the infield. We were hitting, but just couldn’t get it out of the infield.”
With the delays the team experienced from being COVID traced at the beginning of the season, though, Sams said he’s expected the team to be somewhat behind in certain areas – and he thinks more game experience will benefit the team greatly.
“This basically being our fifth game of the season – I expected us to be slow with the bats,” he said. “We’re just getting going after our delays and stuff. We have 28 games in the next 27 days, so once we get some more game-time experience, and get going a little more, these scores won’t look like this. We just have to keep going, because more experience will help this group a lot.”