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Softball: Greenwood Edges Southside, 3-2

Earlier in the softball season, Greenwood outslugged Southside, 18-11.

In Thursday’s 7A/6A-Central rematch, it was a tight game with runs at a premium. After the Lady Rebels tied the score at 2-2 in the top of the sixth, Greenwood scratched out a run in the bottom of the sixth and hung on for a 3-2 win.

“That was a fast-pitch softball game. The last time it was 18-11, but this time, it was more of a fast-pitch game,” Greenwood coach Ronnie Sockey said. “It was a good ballgame, their big bats came through and got the runs for them, they put the two runs up on the board then we came in after it was tied and answered back each time and got the runs we needed to get the win.”

With Greenwood (16-9, 7-2) up 2-1 entering the top of the sixth, Southside’s Paige Mendoza led off with a double and came around to score the tying run on Andee Tiffee’s single to right.

Then in the bottom of the sixth, Greenwood’s Abbey Lejong led off with a single to right and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Devyn Gregory. The next batter, Pheobe Ulmer, flied out to left but Lejong tagged up and made it to third just ahead of the throw.

Lejong’s aggressive baserunning paid off. Sydney Parker hit a ball which deflected off Southside pitcher Kylie Hall. Parker beat out an infield single as Lejong crossed home plate with the eventual winning run.

In the top of the seventh, Southside’s Darrion Hensley worked a lead-off walk. Gracie Harvey then attempted a sacrifice, but the bunt popped right up into the glove of Parker, a freshman catcher. She quickly threw to first to double off the runner. Lady Bulldogs sophomore pitcher Victoria Taylor then got a grounder to end the game.

“The kids came out and they played OK. We had a few key plays that we didn’t execute, but hopefully we’ll learn from it and, you know, new day tomorrow,” Southside coach Cassy Story said. “Again, we’re young and we’re hoping to use these games to help us get better and to learn from them and, hopefully, it will help us later on in the season.”

Taylor gave up two runs on four hits and struck out four. Southside (12-10, 5-3) was coming off a doubleheader sweep Tuesday against Little Rock Hall in which the Lady Rebels scored a total of 44 runs.

“Southside’s been putting up a lot of big runs on everybody, they’ve scored big runs on Russellville’s pitcher and she’s the top pitcher in the league and Victoria came in and she looked like she was back fresh (Thursday),” Sockey said.

Parker went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs. She put Greenwood on the board in the fourth with a two-out RBI triple, which was followed by an RBI single from Madison Jewell which gave the Lady Bulldogs a 2-1 advantage.

Southside broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth on a two-out double to deep center from Mikayla Dietz, which scored Tiffee.

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