MANTACHIE – Mantachie coach Bryan Loague sent his Lady Mustangs running from foul pole to foul pole as his injured players did sit-ups after Tuesday’s Division 1-2A opener against Hatley.
After a win.
Proud of the 5-4 win in eight innings, not so much of the six errors that tied the team’s six hits during the win, Loague watched his team score the winning run in the eighth inning on Hatley’s fifth error.
“That’s what they’re running for right now is errors,” Loague laughed. “It’s good to get a win to start division, especially against Hatley. They’re a dang good ballclub.”
Tied at four with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Bailey Dickinson kept the inning alive with a single that moved Miah Edmonds to second base. Alli DeVaughn’s flyball to center was misplayed and Edmonds raced home with ease for the win. Edmonds opened the inning with a single.
“If we’ll just quit making fundamental mistakes, we’ll be OK,” Hatley coach Mark Guntharp said. “I can’t get our girls to understand that everybody plays hard against us.”
Mantachie (8-5, 1-0) took a 1-0 lead in the first after three consecutive walks off pitcher Lauren Sloan. Dickinson walked with the bases loaded to score Maggie Oswalt for a 1-0 lead.
An uncharacteristic two Hatley (8-4, 0-1) errors in the third paved the way for a 3-0 lead. Oswalt reached on a error to open the inning. Taylor Barber singled and Allisa Patterson reached on a misplayed flyball to right that sent Oswalt home for her second run and a 2-0 lead. Dickinson’s groundout plated pinch runner Anna Hood for a 3-0 lead.
Loague hopes the win will give his team confidence he says has been missing.
“We’ve struggled the last two weeks, just lack of confidence,” Loague said. “It’s not lack of ability. It’s lack of confidence.”
Guntharp did praise his team for clawing back to tie the game.
Hatley pulled within 3-1 in the top of the fourth on a two-out single from Lesley Hudson that scored Sloan. Mantachie got the run back on Taylor Barber’s fifth inning RBI groundout.
Hatley scored three in the sixth after four errors. Courtney Roberts reached on the third error as Kelsey Wilson and Sloan scored. Hudson’s sac fly tied the game.
Brittany Anderson (8-5) got the win. Taylor Barrett (8-4), who came in with a 1-0 deficit took the hard luck loss and had two of Hatley’s seven hits.
Brandon Speck/Monoroe Journal