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|After four wins, Eagles drop two straight|
Franklin County third baseman Sierra Naff tags out Patrick County’s Beth Williams (3) to complete a pick-off play for the final out of a five-run ninth inning by the Cougars in Wednesday’s 7-2 non-district varsity softball win over the Eagles at Benjamin Franklin Middle School. (Staff Photo by Steven Marsh)
Friday, May 3, 2013
Patrick County scored five runs in the top of the ninth inning Wednesday for a 7-2 victory over Franklin County in a non-district varsity softball contest at the Benjamin Franklin Middle School softball complex.
After four straight wins, the Eagles (4-1 in the Western Valley District, 10-7 overall), who were playing their third game in three days Wednesday, have suffered consecutive losses.
On Tuesday, FCHS fell 5-4 to Liberty Christian Academy (LCA) in a non-district game played in Lynchburg.
Patrick County's win give the Cougars a sweep of this year's regular-season series. Earlier, Patrick County (10-6) won 13-7 in a game played in Stuart in early March.
FCHS trailed 2-1 before scoring the tying run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning on a single by Logan Palmer.
The Eagles had the winning run on base when Palmer stepped to the plate, but she was thrown out on the hit by FCHS's sophomore shortstop to end the frame.
In the bottom of the eighth, FCHS's Mackenzie Chitwood reached third base and attempted to score on a error that allowed sophomore rightfielder Ashley Keith to reach first.
But, Chitwood, the Eagles' sophomore catcher, was thrown out at home.
In the ninth inning, the international tiebreaker rule was put into play meaning that each team opened its half of the frame with a runner on second base.
The Cougars scored four runs, all at the expense of starting pitcher Hali Saul (8-7), who was later replaced by Kameron Cundiff, who yielded Patrick County's final run.
Saul struck out nine. She yielded 10 hits and three walks.
FCHS advanced runners into scoring position in the bottom of the ninth, but failed to score.
Chitwood and Taylor Greenway each collected two hits to pace FCHS.
Against LCA, the Eagles cashed in a 3-0 after 3 1/2 innings, an advantage that was produced by a two-run first frame and a one-run third, after permitting all five of the Bulldogs' runs in the bottom of the fourth.
FCHS manufactured its final run in the top of the seventh.
The Eagles outhit LCA, 10-8, and each team committed two errors.
Saul allowed the eight hits -- seven singles and a triple -- in tossing her 12th complete game of the season. She walked three and struck out none.
All five of LCA's runs were earned.
Chitwood belted her team-best fifth home run of the season for her lone hit. In one-plus seasons, she had hit nine runs.
Chitwood's home run was the Eagles' lone extra base hit.
Keith, Greenway and Jordan Whitcomb each recorded two hits and Saul, Hannah Dudley and Sierra Naff also registered a hit.
FCHS returns to action today for its final regular-season home game against WVD rival George Washington-Danville. Game time is 6 p.m.
The Eagles conclude regular-season play next week with league games in Roanoke against Patrick Henry on Tuesday and William Fleming on Thursday.