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By BRIAN LANGLEY
Morgan County News
Sunbright and Wartburg are two softball teams trying to climb up the District 4-A ladder. The two teams split a two-game series last week to keep them tied for the fifth spot as each team took care of business on the road.
Wartburg took the first game at Sunbright with a thrilling 5-4 win, while the Lady Tigers bounced back and traveled to Wartburg last Tuesday to post a 14-7 victory over the Lady Bulldogs.
In the 5-4 win at Sunbright for the Lady Bulldogs, they overcame a 4-1 deficit and scored two runs in the 7th for their first victory of the season and the first career win for head coach Amy Stafford.
Wartburg’s Chelsea Potter scored the game’s first run in the top of the first, but Sunbright answered with a run in their half of the first with Sunny Lavender crossing the plate to tie the game at 1.
Sunbright’s Carrie Shelley and Kayla Bowman each scored in the second to give them a 3-1 lead. Sunbright pitcher Amber Kennedy crossed the plate in fifth to build a 4-1 lead.
Wartburg’s Kristin Bunch and Mahala Stedam each scored in the sixth to pull them within 4-3 setting up the last-inning heroics.
Wartburg’s Potter drew a one-out walk and was brought home by Ashton Taylor’s run-scoring double to tie the game at 4. Taylor would score on a steal later in the inning to give Wartburg a 5-4 win.
Wartburg’s Kristin Bunch (7 IP, 3 H, 6 BB, 9 K) earned the win, while Amber Kennedy (7 IP, 5 H, 6 BB, 3 K) was tagged with the loss.
Ashton Taylor (1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 run) and Chelsea Potter (1-1, 2 runs) led Wartburg’s five-hit attack.
Amber Kennedy (1 run), Kayla Bowman (1 run) and Ashley Honeycutt collected the three hits for the Lady Tigers.
Sunbright evened up the series with an impressive 14-7 win at Wartburg the very next day.
“We've got a talented group of girls. The returning players have improved tremendously and our new players have worked hard all year. They came together as a team and played to their potential. It's great to see them succeed. I'm proud of all of them,” said Lady Tiger coach Lesley Spurling.
Wartburg got out to a 2-0 lead with Chelsea Potter and Ashton Taylor each scoring.
Sunbright’s Ashley Honeycutt scored in the second to slice the deficit to 2-1 before Wartburg’s Kayla Greene answered with a run in the bottom of the second to make it 3-1.
The Lady Tigers then got their offense cranked up during the five innings as they scored each and every inning. Sunny Lavender, who hit a homer, and Amber Kennedy each scored in the third and Kassie Perkins and Carrie Shelley scored in the fourth to give them a 5-3 lead.
Wartburg’s Taylor ripped a double to bring home Greene in the fourth to pull them within one, but Sunbright’s Jessica Albritton ripped a double of her own to score Honeycutt and make it 6-4 going into the sixth.
The Lady Tigers then put the game away with a five-run sixth. Lavender, Kennedy, Jessie Ford, Honeycutt and Albritton each scored to push the lead to 11-4.
Wartburg’s Greene and Potter each scored in their portion of the sixth to close the gap to 11-6, but Lavender’s two-run homer in the seventh helped spark Sunbright to a three-run inning and 14-6 lead.
Wartburg’s Bryson Scruggs scored in the bottom of the seventh to slice the final deficit to 14-7.
Sunbright’s Amber Kennedy (7 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 3 K) earned the win, while Wartburg’s Kristin Bunch (7 IP, 20 H, 1 BB, 4 K) took the loss.
“We had some great work at the mound. Our freshman pitcher Amber Kennedy has worked very hard and it shows. She did a great job,” Spurling added.
Sunbright’s 20-hit attack was led by Sunny Lavender (5-5, 2 HR, 3 runs, 2 RBI, 1 SB), Jessica Albritton (5-5, 2 2B, 1 3B, 4 RBI, 1 run, 1 SB), Ashley Honeycutt (4-4, 1 2B, 3 runs, 2 SB, 1 RBI), Jessie Ford (2-5, 1 2B, 2 runs, 1 RBI) and Amber Kennedy (2-5, 3 SB, 2 runs).
“We had a great day at the plate, Sunny was 5 for 5 with two home runs, Jessica Albritton and Ashley Honeycutt also had put up some good hitting. We had some close plays in the field and my girls made it work. I can't ask for any more,” said Spurling.
Wartburg’s 13-hit parade was led by Ashton Taylor (4-4, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 2 SB,1 run), Chelsea Potter (2-3, 2 runs, 2 SB) and Mahala Stedam (2-4, 1 RBI, 1 SB).
The Lady Bulldogs suffered a tough 5-2 loss in eight innings to Oneida last Thursday at home.
Wartburg’s Chelsea Potter scored in the first for a 1-0 lead before Oneida scored two runs in the third to give them a 2-1 edge.
Nobody scored until Wartburg’s Bryson Scruggs touched home plate in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at two and send it into extra innings.
Oneida was able to push across three runs in the top of the eighth to give them a 5-2 win.
Chelsea Potter and Bryson Scruggs scored the two runs for Wartburg.
Kristin Bunch (4 K) took the loss for the Lady Bulldogs.