The Lady Cavaliers advanced to the Region 4D semifinals following a 6-5 victory in seven innings over Bassett on May 23 in Hillsville.
Carroll’s ability to put the ball in play allowed it to rally from an early deficit to make the Cavaliers’ overall record 16-3.
“Well, you have to give Bassett credit. They put the ball in play and they put it in the holes. They put it where we weren’t. And then the girl hits a two-run homer in the first inning. They put it in play and got the runs and were up 3-0,” said Carroll County head coach Rick Nester. “The girls, when they got back up to bat, got two (runs) back and it was like that all night. When we came back in at the plate, I felt confident the girls would put the ball in play. I don’t know how many hits we had but they hit the ball well. Our girls hit the ball well all night.”
Carroll had 10 hits while Bassett had nine. Pitcher Emily Cook headed up the Cavalier offense with three hits and Katie McKenzie had two. Cook pitched seven innings, allowing nine hits, five runs and one walk. Bassett’s Anna Finley pitched six, allowing 10 hits, six runs and a walk.
Carroll trailed 3-2 at the end of the first inning but got on track in the third, scoring three. The Lady Cavs sealed the deal in the fourth with one run and Bassett had a run in the sixth. Nestor said Bassett had speed, which they took advantage of in the outing.
“I was proud of the girls. They got down but they don’t let it get them down. They stay even with their mindset and keep on going. They know they have to play 21 outs and they did a good job. They just kept on hitting the ball and let the game develop. They did well,” Nester said. “The defense settled down after the beginning and they made the plays.”
He prased the defensive work of McKenzie in the game’s late innings and the first base work of Laken Crockett. Also noteworthy was Abi Easter’s hit late on which looked to be a sure gapper to right centerfield in the sixth. The Tigers ran that shot down though and their centerfielder caught the next two as Bassett’s defense stiffened.
“Emily pitches very well. She gave us an opportunity to win. She has done that all year for us. She has done a super job on the mound. They got some runs but this team here has put the ball in play as good as any team we’ve had in a long time. They’ve hit the ball well and that has helped take some pressure off Emily pitching and the defense,” said Nester. “Alexis Meredith did well tonight. The (Bassett) girl hit the ball hard in the bottom of the fourth, I think, when she hit a shot back to the pitcher. In the first inning she hits a shot to center field. The girl (Meredith) couldn’t buy a hit (tonight) but she hit the ball well every time.“
The victory advanced Carroll County to a Region 4D Semifinal at Blacksburg High School on May 29 in a 5 p.m. game against the Bruins. The winner will move on the region finals as well as the 4D State Tournament.
Bassett 301 001 0 – 5 9 1
Carroll 203 100 x – 6 10 3
Finley and Mills (B); Cook and Johnson (CC). WP – Cook. LP – Finley. 2B – Cook, McKenzie, Crockett (CC). HR – Nelson (B).
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.