Hometown Softball Recap – Baldwin Highlanders – 04/21/2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016 | 12:49 AM

A outcome of a critical Class Quad-A Section 4 showdown changed in a matter of just a few moments, as the Canon-McMillan Big Macs used a few key plays to notch a 5-1 victory against the host Baldwin Highlanders on Wednesday.

With the Highlanders threatening in the bottom of the fourth inning, Baldwin appeared to tie the game at 2-2 on a sacrifice fly by Anastasia Hale that plated Samantha Wampler from third. An appeal by Canon-McMillan resulted in Wampler being called out, however, as the umpires determined that she left the bag before the ball was caught in center field. As a result, the inning concluded and the lead remained intact for Canon-McMillan.

To start the next frame, the Big Macs took advantage, as Kayla Hopkins delivered a leadoff single, and Linda Rush followed with a two-run blast that cleared the fence in left-center field. That series of plays resulted in a momentum swing that allowed Canon-McMillan to ultimately seal the victory, as the Highlanders were unable to claw back.

Canon-McMillan never trailed in the contest, as it plated the first runs of the game in the third inning. Rush reached on an error, and Brittney Crawford followed with a double to center. With both girls in scoring position, Kirsten Rush delivered a two-out, two-strike double that scored both of her teammates.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Highlanders scored their only run, as Jaimie Schleicher opened the stanza with a double, and moved to third on Wampler’s subsequent single. Katie Knezevich plated Schleicher with a ground ball to second base, and an error by the Big Macs allowed her to reach, as well. A sacrifice bunt moved Wampler and Knezevich to third and second base, respectively, and Baldwin appeared poised to tie or take the lead prior to the controversial call that ended the inning.

In the seventh, Canon-McMillan tacked on an insurance run, as Hopkins led off with a double, and scored on a two-out single by Katelyn Greaves to account for the final margin.

The top three hitters in the Big Macs’ lineup, Hopkins, Linda Rush and Crawford, accounted for six hits and all five runs scored. Moreover, pitcher Abi Michelucci was strong in the circle, holding Baldwin to just five hits.

Conversely, no batter on Baldwin recorded a multi-hit performance. Taylor Dadig and Ashley Brady joined Schleicher, Wampler and Hale as Highlanders who notched a hit. Additionally, Hale went the distance in the circle, allowing nine hits and two walks, while striking out nine.

With the triumph, Canon-McMillan improves to 5-1 in section play (9-2 overall), while Baldwin falls to 5-2 (6-3 overall).

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