In a pair of games last week, the Seymour High School varsity softball team recorded a road win at perennial state power Willow Springs and dropped an 11-inning home heartbreaker to Bakersfield.
The Tigers opened the week with a come-from-behind win over Willow, defeating the host Bears 8-3 last Tuesday, Aug. 31, after trailing 2-0 after four frames.
Against Bakersville in home action Thursday, Seymour rallied to tie the game at 5-5 at the end of seven innings, then five extra innings were played before the visiting Lions prevailed 7-5.
“Willow was a big win for us,” Tigers’ head coach Glenn Dawson said. “This was a quality win over a very good opponent, one that beat us 12-0 in three innings just a week before in our jamboree.”
Despite the loss to Bakersfield, Dawson said his squad’s effort was outstanding.
“In every inning, the seventh through the 11th, we had a chance to win it,” he said. “Despite the loss, it’s probably the most-amazing game I’ve been a part of.”
The loss on Thursday, which dropped the team’s record to 2-3, spoiled a stellar pitching effort from sophomore Alleigh Warren.
Warren went the full 11 innings, throwing 176 pitches in the process.
“Alleigh went the full 11 innings, struck out 11 and gave up only one earned run,” Dawson said. “I’m still trying to wrap my arms around that ... it was something special.”
He noted that the Tigers trailed 5-3 after five innings, then scored a single run in both the sixth and seventh innings to tie the game.
“We made a huge comeback, and we had all kinds of good chances to win it in extra innings,” Dawson noted.
“In the eighth inning, for example, we had runners on second and third with one out. That’s just one scenario. But give credit to Bakersfield. Those girls competed hard. They found a way to win.”
Sophomore Katelynn Smith paced the Tigers’ offensive attach with four hits. She also scored a run.
Adding three hits and one run batted in (RBI) was junior Kenzie Gage. One of her hits was a triple.
Shea Peters, a sophomore, added a pair of singles and scored a run.
Other Tigers with hits were Warren and fellow sophomores Hannah Clark, Cameron Hanger and Elisa Valbuena.
Clark and Warren scored runs; Hanger had two RBIs, while Valbuena had one RBI.
“We just left too many runners on base,” Dawson said.
At Willow Springs two nights prior, the host Bears plated a pair of first-inning runs to take an early 2-0 lead that held up through four innings.
However, Seymour scored four runs in the fifth inning, then added four more in the sixth to lead 8-2.
Willow scored a single run in the fi nal seventh frame for the game’s final margin.
Clark was the winning pitcher.
She went the full seven innings, allowing only three runs on 15 hits. She struck out five and walked four.
“Hannah kept the Willow hitters off all night,” Dawson explained. “She’s becoming a pitcher, not a thrower, just a true pitcher. The game at Willow was a great example of her maturity on the mound.”
Offensively, Dawson said his team “showed up when it counted the most.”
Gage was Seymour’s leading hitter as she went 3-for-5 with one run scored.
Adding a pair of hits were Smith and Warren, both of whom scored twice.
Sophomore Allie Alexander had a hit and led the Tigers with two RBIs, while Hanger and Peters each notched singles.
Hanger also had one RBI, as did Valbuena.
Sophomore Jadyn Johnson maximized her role as a pinch runner by scoring twice. She also led the Tigers with four stolen bases.
Next action for the Tigers arrives today (Wednesday) as Dora visits in a contest that starts at 4:30 p.m.
“We’re not yet at full strength,” Dawson noted. “Once we get (sophomore) Aubrie Fann back from injury, we improve, but we’re growing as a team ... slowly getting there.”
On Monday, Seymour travels to Hartville for a Summit Conference game.
Action starts at 4:30 p.m.