“That’s an area game, so it’s always a big game,” Childersburg head coach Hillary Downs said. “We were anxious coming in, just excited to play. Even though we were down 4-5, we knew. I had no doubt in my mind that we were going to come back and hit.”
Childersburg jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before Dallas County came back to tie it 2-2. Childersburg came back to regain a 4-2 lead, before Dallas County took their first lead of the game in the top of the third inning. With two runners on and no out, Celeigh Denny hit a ball right on the foul line in left field for a triple that scored both runners to make it 4-4. Breanna Atkinson grounded out to third base, but Denny was able to make it home safely to give Dallas County a 5-4 lead. After Childersburg’s starting pitcher Rachael Brannon walked Amy Persinger, Childersburg head coach Hillary Downs turned to Chelsea Mowery in relief.
Mowery pitched 4 2/3 innings, striking out four batters and allowing only one runner to reach base on an error to earn the win.
“Rachael Brannon was actually sick yesterday,” Downs explained. “She’s had a virus that’s been going around our team. We wanted her to at least try to throw a couple innings to kind of throw them off some and then bring Chelsea in and really throw them off. So, it was vital that Chelsea come in and do her job and she did a great job, pitched a great game. I’m very proud of her and she hit well today.”
Mowery went one for three at the plate, while also drawing a walk.
Mowery said she understood the gravity of the situation before she entered in relief as a pitcher.
“Before we went in, coach Downs told us this was an area game and they were really good competition and we really needed to win,” she said. “I went in thinking we really needed to work hard and I needed to pitch good, so it motivated me to do better.”
In the bottom of the fifth, the offense tacked a run on the scoreboard to tie the game at 5-5. Breanna Garrett hit a single up the middle. Next, she took second base on a wild pitch. Mowery hit a ground ball hard into deep infield, but an error on the second baseman allowed the ball to travel to the outfield, which allowed Garrett to score.
In the bottom of the sixth, Tiffany Martin hit a grounder to first base but the first baseman stepped off the bag, in addition to blocking the path of the runner on the first base line, so Martin was ruled safe. Jessica Parris singled to left field and Marisa Ward did the same to load the bases with no outs. Haley Rainwater tapped the ball into a perfect spot deep in the infield at a gap between second and first base that made it into right field to score the go-ahead run and another run to make it 7-5. There was a close play at the plate, played perfectly by Parris who slid in leg first just before the catcher was able to apply the tag.
“I’m a slapper and I went up and it was bases loaded, so I was nervous,” Rainwater said. “I just went up there, had confidence and just hit the ball. I didn’t think about it and just the ball like I know how to.”
Downs said it was impressive because it wasn’t the first time Rainwater came through for the team in the game.
“That’s the second time this game that she did that,” Downs said. “We worked at practice. Instead of hitting the little dinkers to shortstop and third to work on really getting a good swing on the ball and hitting the ball out and she did exactly what we asked her to do twice today. I’m very proud of her as well.”
Rainwater scored from third base on a grounder hit by Breanna Garrett to make it 8-5.
While Mowery was at the plate, Raven Garrett scored on a wild pitch.
Breanna Garrett came around to score on a Laknea Malone single down the third base line to boost Childersburg’s lead to 10-5.
Breanna Garrett, who celebrated her birthday with teammates following the game, said getting an important win made the celebration even better.
“It felt good to get the win tonight, and on top of that it was an area win,” she said. “I feel good about it, especially coming from behind.”
The win moves the team’s overall record to 11-5, and they are 2-0 in area play.