PLYMOUTH — Freshman Bre Martin drove in Bailey Brown on an 0-2 count for the game-winning run, and Plymouth’s softball team clinched a 4-3 Northern Lakes Conference victory over visiting NorthWood Friday night.
It was the second walk-off NLC win of the week for the Lady Pilgrims, who
“It was really exciting for our team to have a second walk-off victory in one week’s time, and especially for Bre to come through. It was a great play for a freshman able to execute and support her team that way,” said Plymouth softball coach Haley Church.
“It was exciting, a great Friday night.”
NorthWood jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Katie Rhoade reached base on an error and later scored on a passed ball at the plate.
No more action occurred until Rhoads came up to the plate again in the third. Again she reached on an error and eventually scored on a double from Maddie Schwartz. Lexi Bergman scored on the same play, and Plymouth found itself in an 0-3 hole.
Plymouth buckled down defensively, however, and the Pilgrims finally found a way to rattle the bats in the fourth.
April Hampton reached base after walking, Britney Horvath was hit by a pitch, and Plymouth looked to have some life when Katie Berg earned the walk and loaded the bases.
Bailey Brown approached the plate in the clutch situation and came through with a timely hit, scoring both Hampton and Horvath, and Plymouth tied the score 3-3 when Katie Berg stole home on a wild pitch.
With the momentum appearing to shift, the visitors fought as best they could and managed to get runners on second and third in the fifth inning, but the Panthers couldn’t cross home plate as Pilgrims freshman pitcher Haley Brown bore down to close the door on NorthWood.
Brown racked up 10 strikeouts while throwing just one walk and allowing five hits for the win in her first varsity start.
“As a freshman that’s a really great start for her,” said Church.
Both teams remained in a gridlock until the bottom of the seventh.
Bailey Brown opened up the final run needed by driving a single into center and advancing to second on the throw. Morgan O’Neal managed to get a base hit grounder into left field. Brown advanced to third, and O’Neal snuck in at second to make it exciting for Martin as she approached the plate with only one out.
Martin attempted to bunt, but it went foul. She swung at the next one to fall behind 0-2 in the count but stayed aggressive, making contact on the next pitch, and Bailey Brown took off for home as the ball dribbled back to NothWood pitcher Jodie Romer. Ramer tried to make the flip to catcher Paige Hershberger but couldn’t execute, and Bailey Brown scored to secure the 4-3 win.
It was a much-needed victory for Plymouth, which had struggled in its last two outings following the walk-off victory over Goshen Monday.
Bailey Brown finished 3-for-3 on the day with a pair of clutch RBIs, and Morgan O’Neal continued her hitting streak by going 2-for-4.
“Just the way that we showed up today, we were a team that was ready to fight and ready to prove that we have talent and that we are capable of competing,” Church said. “We had some great individual performances. I was really happy for Bailey Brown because she has not been producing the way she wants to at the plate, and today she went 3-for-3 and scored the winning run and had two RBIs too, so she was a part of three of our runs. That’s great for her.”
The softball girls now take a weekend break and prepare for a busy week with six games in six days.
• PLYMOUTH 4, NORTHWOOD 3
NorthWood: 102 000 0 — 3
Plymouth: 000 300 1 — 4
WP: Haley Brown; LP: Jodie Romer.
2B: Maddie Schwartz (N), Haley Brown (P), Bailey Brown (P)
Record: Plymouth 3-11 (2-0 NLC)