GREENWOOD — Newberry dueled with Lander in an afternoon doubleheader that saw the Bearcats best the Wolves 2-1 and 10-9.
Game One of the doubleheader left both teams a little curious about one another as the second game loomed in the distance. The theme seemed to be a game of very opportunistic offense on extremely solid defense.
The teams were scoreless for several innings as Lander would end the drought in the fourth to squeeze in their first run of the game. Newberry’s response came in their final half inning when a heroic at bat from Morgan Wagaman would score Paige Meyer on a single to center field. Wagaman ignited a fire as the Wolves would start to finally find their footing in this matchup.
McKenzie Barneycastle entered the game as a pinch hitter and reached base on an error by the shortstop. This gave the Wolves a bases loaded situation with Wagaman now on second and Haley Wildes at third.
However, the fire would dissipate before Newberry could capitalize ending the inning with one run, two hits, an error, and three left on base. With the score now 1-1, the Wolves headed back onto the field awaiting the Bearcats’ response.
Before Lander’s single to third base Newberry made several defensive changes in hopes of wrapping the game up. However, another single to the same spot would send their first batter to score ending the game 2-1.
Game Two took both teams to the brink as respective offenses got rolling quickly. The Bearcats squeaked in a run early, but the Wolves doubled that output starting with Wildes. On a ground out to the second baseman, she still scored Shannon McCann while advancing Meyer to third.
Chelsey Cunningham followed suit with a double to left field that rounded Meyer and took the lead at 2-1.
The back and forth continued as Lander added four more runs to their efforts in the two following innings. Without knowledge that a Newberry offensive explosion loomed, the Bearcats entered their defensive positions ready.
The top of the fifth started off with Barneycastle reaching on an error by the shortstop. Tori Caldwell singled to third and propelled pinch runner Morgan Sweeney to second. Next in the batter order was Natalie Willis who grounded out to the shortstop as Caldwell made her way to second and Sweeney loaded up the final base.
Haley Simonds reached on an error by the third baseman and scored two Wolves before it was over. Finding herself in the batter’s box again was Wildes who was hit by a pitch which put her on base and sent Simonds to score.
Another reach on an error would allow Cunningham to make base and round a pair of runners to home. A few moments later a wild pitch would move Wildes across home plate and shift Cunningham to third. The inning would end with the Wolves tallying six runs, two hits, three errors, and leaving only one stranded on base.
Newberry muted Lander’s efforts in the bottom of the fifth and the sixth while adding a run of their own. Simonds’ single allowed Willis to score and increase the lead to 9-5, Wolves.
However, runs in the final two innings for the Bearcats tied and ultimately sealed the win for Lander.
On the day the Wolves utilized four different pitchers in Cunningham, Simonds, Selice Daley and Alyssa Ball.