The Richmond Hill High School Lady Wildcats made the trek to Pembroke Thursday afternoon to face the Bryan County High School Lady Redskins in the annual cross-county softball game. The Skins beat the Cats in a close 3-2 contest.
Last year, the Redskins visited Wildcat Field and left the win with the Wildcats when they fell 2-4.
The Redskins begin this year having lost only two seniors and having gained five seasoned freshman. The Wildcats lost five seniors at the end of last year and begin this season with a young team.
Redskins’ pitcher Samantha Howard started the game for the Ladyskins and made quick work of sitting down the first three Wildcat batters on strike outs. The Redskins were unable to take advantage of the opportunity as they were shut down by the Wildcat defense headed by Stephanie Ortiz on the mound who allowed only a single hit by Redskin Lindsay Seger in the first inning.
The Wildcats came to bat the second time and loaded the bases with a single from Lauren Davis and two walks from Stephanie Ortiz and Krista Busbee, but Ladyskin pitcher Howard regained control of the game and struck out the next Wildcat pitcher to end the first half of the inning.
The Redskins returned to the plate but the Wildcat defense once again took control, sitting down two Redskin batters on fly balls and the third on a strike out.
With the tension mounting, the Wildcats came to bat in the third inning with the top star of their lineup, Melanie Goolsby, up to bat. Goolsby took a full count before hitting a fly ball to put her on first with a hit. With a steal to second, Goolsby put herself in scoring position and two wild pitches later crossed the plate for the first run on the board.
Redskin pitcher Howard once again regained control of the mound and retired the next three batters on strike outs.
The Redskins returned to the plate and, with one out on the board, freshman Amanda Williams reached first on a single fly ball to shallow left field and took second on a throwing error.
With two outs on the board, Redskin Lindsay Seger hit a ground ball that got through the Wildcat infield - putting her on second base and allowing Williams to score to tie the game. Seger took third on a passed ball with Ashley Barfield at the plate. Seger scored on the following pitch on an error, putting the Redskins up by one.
Barfield slammed a line drive to right field but was left on first base as the Wildcat defense shut down the last batter.
The two teams battled back and forth with the Redskins unable to extend their lead and the Wildcats unable to tie the game. Two more innings passed with the score remaining 2-1 in favor of the Redskins.
In the top of the sixth, the Wildcat lead-off batter Tyler Carlson’s single put her on first base. Carlson’s aggressive base running put her on second with a steal, and an attempted steal became successful on a error by the Redskin defense - putting her in scoring position to tie the game. On her attempt to score home on a wild pitch, Carlson was tagged out by the Redskin catcher Lindsay Seger whose diving tag saved the tying run from scoring.
Howard retired the next two Wildcat batters on strikes to end the inning.
Rebecca Horton led off for the Redskins in the bottom of the sixth, reaching first on an error and scored as Williams once again slammed a hit to centerfield for the RBI to put the Redskins ahead 3-2.
The Wildcats came into the last inning with their catcher Caitlyn Casey leading off with a deep double to centerfield. A sac bunt by Lauren Davis put Casey on third and she scored on a passed ball to close the gap to within one run, but the Redskin defense held strong and the Wildcats ended the inning behind 2-3.
Next up for the Lady Redskins is an away game Tuesday versus Savannah Country Day. Next up for the Lady Wildcats is a Tuesday away game versus Brunswick High School.