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Girls hang on for big road win

Halifax County High School varsity girls softball catcher Ashley Watts knew right before her team’s Friday game at Tunstall High School the Trojans were coming off a 9-5 win at Franklin County, collecting 13 hits in the process.

Admittedly a little nervous behind the plate to start, Watts settled in and called her game, with Barnes collecting 10 strikeouts and the Comets scoring four runs in the third inning on the way to a 5-3 win.

“Honestly, that made me a little nervous in the beginning,” said Watts.

“I don’t have any strategy whatsoever.  I look at the player coming up to bat and see where they stand, their form, and how they swing.

“Thinking about the hits they had made me think about what I called, but knowing my teammates will be there, which they’ve always been, it helps me through it.”

Halifax collected five of its seven hits for the game in the third inning, including a one-out single from Megan Puckett to start the rally. Barnes reached on a fielders’ choice before Cecilie Elliott’s two-run single, and Gabby Spainhour followed with another RBI base hit.

Kye-Neisha Logan singled, and Amber Moore singled home the fourth run of the inning.  Singles from Ashley Watts and Moore in the first and seventh innings, respectively, accounted for the other Halifax hits.

Elliott drove home Barnes from third base with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning for the Comets’ final run of the game.

Tunstall finished with five hits for the game, singles from Sara Beth Meyer in the second and Jessie Kent in the fourth, where the Trojans scored their first run on a passed ball with the bases loaded.

Taylor Vest singled, Dominiquez Molero hit an RBI triple, and Kasey Wallace hit an RBI single in the sixth inning for Tunstall.

“Tunstall is a scrappy team.  We were up 5-1, but Tunstall made it 5-3 with base hits real quick, three or four right in a row,” said Comets Coach Melanie Saunders.

“Momentum shifted just a little bit, so I called timeout to slow the game down a little bit.”

Big innings are important, but Saunders is looking for the Comets to be more consistent at the plate throughout the game, and Elliott’s RBI sacrifice fly turned out to be an important run, Saunders continued.

“We talked about having runners in scoring position and have to figure out a way to get them in.

“Cecilie popped the ball up to the outfield, and that’s what I keep trying to tell them, it’s not about getting you on, it’s about scoring that runner.” 

“I told the girls they (Tunstall) came off a 9-5 win against Franklin County, and they had 13 hits, so I knew it was going to be a tougher game tonight,” noted Saunders.

“Taylor did a great job on the mound, and Ashley called a great game behind the plate to keep them off balance.” 

“They’re a good hitting team.”