By Adam Gore/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
SMITHVILLE – It took Smithville just two of the 10 innings it played on Tuesday to put 26 runs on the scoreboard, as the Lady Seminoles swept Wheeler in the opening round of the MHSAA Class 1A softball playoffs.
Smithville (15-8) scored 11 runs in a fifth inning that lasted less than 10 minutes to pick up a 14-4 Game 1 victory, then sent 19 batters to the plate 15 runs in the fourth inning of their 15-5 series-clinching win.
Both games went five innings.
“The bats came to life tonight,” said Smithville coach Jeremy Duke. “We were fortunate enough to be able to take advantage of some breaks that went our way to get a couple of wins over a very good softball team.”
Smithville churned out 29 hits in two games, highlighted by Meagan Whitehead’s six-hit performance that included a two-run walk-off in the first win of the night. The senior shortstop also scored six runs and drove in three more for the Lady Seminoles.
“Meagan got us going tonight,” said Duke. “It seemed like the rest of the team fed off her energy and she came up with hit after hit when we needed someone to step up tonight. Hopefully we can keep our bats hot and gain more confidence going into Saturday.”
Gracie Michael and April Thompson combined for four hits, with both belting home runs for the Lady Eagles (15-13).
Letters from FSU
The excitement wasn’t over for the Lady Seminoles after the sweep.
When they returned to the dressing room after the game they found hand-written letters from members of the Florida State University softball team – also Seminoles – with words of encouragement for the players both on and off the field.
Smithville will take on the winner of Thursday’s Blue Mountain and Falkner series on Saturday in the second round of the playoffs.