Story and Photos by Rusty Ellis
It took an extra inning and some late-game heroics by Addison Abell, but the White County Warriors clinched a spot in the District 7/AAA Championship game with a 4-3 win over Macon County.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the second inning, when Abby Guy drove in a run with a double to give White County a 1-0 lead. The following inning, Ashlynn Phillips doubled that lead with an RBI single of her own.
The lead did not last long however, as Macon struck for three runs in the fourth to take a slim lead of their own. The game stayed that way until the bottom of the sixth when Abby Finan knotted the game up with a single, sending the game to the seventh in a tie.
Sparta had a chance in the bottom of the frame when Caydra Parker doubled with two outs, but Taylor Roberts struck out swinging to send the game to extras.
After getting out of a jam in the top of the inning, Abell sent the White County faithful home happy with an RBI single to score the game-winning run and clinch Sparta’s spot in the District 7/AAA Championship.
“It was a battle, just a great ballgame,” said WCHS head coach Jerry Roberts. “We never quit. We could’ve easily got down there in the sixth inning, but our bunch is experienced and they never quit.”
Abell really settled in after allowing the three runs, and while some pitchers may get down in scenarios like that, Abell isn’t most pitchers.
“I know that sometimes the other girls feed off of me,” Abell said. “It’s important to know that a game isn’t over until it’s over. There’s always a chance to come back, that’s the game of softball.”
With the game on the line and a runner at third base, Abell come through in the clutch like she has so many times in her White County career. And all that ran through her mind during the at-bat was how much she wanted to come through for the team.
“I was just thinking about my teammates,” Abell said. “I knew if I didn’t get it, Abby (Finan) would, but it felt really great. I was just looking for the pitch and hoping it would come right there, and it did. It just felt great.”
The Warriorettes will now get a day off after their win, and Roberts says he hopes that the Sparta bats stay hot come Thursday.
“Our bats are coming around,” Roberts said. “Our pitching and defense is always going to be there. We just want to keep hitting the ball better and better, one through nine.”