- Last Updated on 07:58 AM 04/21/14
- BY Doug Ford
Taylor Barnes was looking for a changeup as she batted in the bottom of the fifth inning at home Friday in the Halifax County High School varsity softball game against Tunstall High School.
The sophomore pitcher instead got an inside pitch that she cranked out of the park for a two-run homer to give her team a 4-0 lead, and the Comets finished with a 6-0 win over the Trojans.
“At first I was looking for a changeup, but then she didn’t throw it, and then she threw it inside, and I love inside so I drove it,” said Barnes after the game.
Barnes helped her team on the mound as well, hurling six innings of shutout ball allowing only two hits while striking out six batters and walking one.
Sidney McLamb finished the game in the seventh inning and got one strikeout while retiring Tunstall in order to end the game.
Seven different Comets had hits throughout the lineup against Tunstall, with Megan Puckett hitting a single in the third inning and a double in the fifth inning ahead of Barnes’ homer.
Ashley Watts hit a leadoff single and scored on Gabby Spainhour’s triple in the second to start the scoring, and Cecilie Elliott hit a leadoff double in the fourth and scored on Kye-Neisha Logan’s sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Halifax added its final two runs in the sixth inning when Lauren Spencer reached base on a single, Tatiana Roberson hit an RBI double and Kirsten Doss hit a sacrifice fly for an RBI.
Barnes had a two-run cushion to work with before her home run, and that always easier on a pitcher.
“It’s much easier as a pitcher when you have more runs,” Barnes said.
“This year, the teams are a lot stronger than they were last year, but I trust my defense. My hitting needs to be a little bit better, but I’m getting there.”
One of two seniors on the team, Puckett is seeing the Comets play better as a team as the season progresses.
“I think we’re learning to play as a team, and we’re meshing both on and off the field,” said Puckett.
“That’s always a key. We come out here and if we get strikes we hit them, and our pitchers are doing good.
“I love the team. They respect me, and I respect them. They know I’m a senior, and this year I want to go out and win it all.”
A break from practice at the start of Easter vacation paid dividends for the Comets against Tunstall.
“I think we all needed that break. Sometimes breaks will hurt you, but I really think we haven’t had one day off from practice since we started, so we gave the kids off the first part of the week,” said Comets’ Coach Melanie Saunders.
“Sometimes you need to just relax and get that energy back.
“We came out a little flat, and it took a little while to get the bats rolling, and we hit some shots right at kids, but for being off the first part of the week, we had a good showing.
“We were able to move people around and get some people a chance to play and get some at-bats.
“It was nice to get Lauren and Tatiana out there, getting some playing time.”
The Comets had to adjust on defense following a first-inning injury to shortstop Amber Moore.
“Defensively, we were able to regroup and adjust,” noted Saunders.
“Taylor did a good job on the mound, and Sidney came in and closed it down for us.
“I’ve very happy with it.”
With the win, the Comets improved to 6-1 in the Piedmont District and 7-2 overall.