By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
April 17, 2013 — The saying ‘It ain’t over ‘til it’s over’ can be said in any sport.
The East Carter softball team took it to heart on Saturday morning against rival West Carter.
The Lady Raiders scored two runs in the top of the seventh, rallying to beat the Lady Comets 3-2 Saturday morning.
“It’s really good to see the girls fight,” East skipper Derek Calhoun said. “They easily could have quit and let them have that one run lead. They had fight left in them (in the seventh) and came out got the lead.”
With West leading 1-0 on a Megan Centers’ sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth, East Carter had trouble all game trying to manufacture hits and runs. The Lady Raiders had five hits going in to the seventh. Heather Withrow got the rally started with a base hit to left. After a fly out to right, Withrow took advantage of a throwing error, allowing her to score with two outs to tie the ball game up. Tori Qualls had a base hit and was replaced by Shayla Greer as a courtesy runner. Kayla Hall provided the winning blow with a base hit that scored Greer to put East ahead for good.
Withrow, who went 3-3 and reached on an error, was very happy with the comeback.
“What a game,” Withrow said. “We came out ready to play and got the hits when we needed to. We stayed focused and did not get down ourselves after falling behind.”
They also spoiled the Lady Comets’ outing by pitcher Leatha Reynolds, who pitched her first complete game of the season after coming off an ankle surgery. She gave up eight hits and three walks while striking out nine Lady Raiders.
But as sharp as Reynolds was inside the circle, Morgan Jacobs was just as good, scrambling four hits and one walk while striking out 12 Lady Comet batters.
Coach Greg Reynolds credited Jacobs for her performance and said his team has struggled to hit at times throughout the season.
“We’re still battling,” Reynolds said. “Our hitting is struggling and to their defense I have several that can hit that are struggling. Major leaguers go through slumps all the time. We’ll get it worked out.”
Centers, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI, admitted the loss to East stings, because West has beaten the Lady Raiders twice for the 62nd District Championship in as many seasons.
“East has a really good team,” Centers said. “We hurt ourselves more than anything. It was more mental errors that caused us to lose.”
It was just another chapter written in the rivalry that is East and West Carter.
“I’d much rather it be a (2-1) ballgame instead a 13 or 14 run blowout,” Calhoun said. “It’s fun. They have a good ball team and it’s a long season.”
“I want (my team) to realize is there are no easy games,” Reynolds said. “We won’t quit, we just have to get better from our mistakes.”
East Carter suffered a setback on Monday, falling to Morgan County 5-3 at home on Monday. West bounced back with a 12-5 win at Fairview. West played at Elliott County on Tuesday and will travel to Menifee County on Thursday. East will play Raceland on at home on Thursday. But the rivalry between East and West will resume in Grayson on Friday.
MacKenzie Bates can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.