CANDLER, N.C. – Led by Natalie Willis’ two home runs on the day, the Wolves split with the Lions of Mars Hill with final scores of 10-2 and 12-2 both in five innings.
Newberry started the game off in true power hitting fashion, nabbing six runs and seven hits in the top of the first. Sydney Patterson was the lead off for the Wolves singling through the left side. A sacrifice fly by Tori Caldwell would allow Patterson to shift into scoring position on second base.
Next up for Newberry was Natalie Willis who sent one flying deep into left field to round herself and Patterson. Haley Simonds then singled through the right side and advanced to second on a wild pitch. During the next batter, Simonds was able to find her way to third while the Lions defense dealt with the Paige Meyer who was attempting to get on base.
Haley Wildes’ double to left field positioned itself well enough to allow Simonds to score, giving Newberry a 3-0 lead six batters into the Wolves lineup. Allison Van Atta was walked, and Morgan Wagaman singled to the shortstop.
With the bases loaded, the catcher Daphne Peyton stepped into the batter’s box and singled to the shortstop which allowed Wildes to score while moving the others over a base. Now back to the top of the order with the bases loaded again, Patterson’s single up the middle scored both Wagaman and Van Atta.
Although the inning would end a batter later, the damage was already done. The Wolves had carved out a 6-0 lead heading into the bottom of the first with a lot of confidence.
With some adjustments made, the Lions were able to keep Newberry at bay during the second, but the Wolves bounced back in the third nabbing a run on a quirky sequence initiated by Wildes who was walked to start the half inning then advanced to second on an error by the catcher.
She then found her way to third base thanks to a sacrifice fly made by Van Atta. Wagaman was later hit by a pitch to get on base. She would then steal second base while Wildes scored on an error made by the Mars Hill catcher.
Newberry kept it coming in the fourth scoring three runs on two hits. On two separate ground outs made by Simonds and Meyer, two Wolves were able to find their way across home plate.
The final scoring play for Newberry came on a walk by the Lions pitcher on Peyton which moved base runners in a bases loaded situation, sending Wildes who was on third to score.
Mars Hill found their footing in the final two innings of play scoring a run in each to etch their names on the scoreboard. A home run to center field and a bases loaded single into left field allowed two Lions to reach home plate with the final score at 10-2.
Newberry played perfect defense going errorless through the five innings of play. While Game One was a display of offensive efficiency, Newberry’s defense maintained the game for the Wolves led by starting pitcher Emily Marchbanks who through 19 batters only allowed two hits and one run.
Marchbanks, who has improved her win total to 10, was relieved during the final half inning by Selice Daley who faced two batters in the fifth.
Willis, Patterson, Simonds, Wildes, Wagaman and Peyton were all Wolves who had a pretty good day standing in the batter’s box.
Game Two saw Newberry get on board first with another home run by Willis, this time to left center. Later on, in the contest during the fourth, Patterson reached base on an error made by the Mars Hill shortstop and advanced to second. During this scramble Myranda Dills found her way to third base and Wagaman came home to score the Wolves’ second run of the evening.
In another errorless contest Newberry forced the Lions into tough situations forcing them to create three errors in Game Two.
Mars Hill’s adjustments in this game allowed them to score in each inning but one. The Lions were able to seal Game Two and the split in the fourth inning where they tacked on six runs to their cause.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Alyssa Ball got the nod and went three bouts in the circle for the Wolves and was relieved by Chelsey Cunningham. Simonds eventually found her way to the mound for Newberry during this contest.