In an early-season battle for softball sub-region supremacy, Greenbrier High School drew first blood Thursday night at Evans.
In a tight, highly contested matchup between the two top teams in Region 2A-AAAAA, the Lady Wolfpack scored the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh inning and held on for the 2-1 win.
Lady Wolfpack head coach Garrett Black did not downplay the significance of the win.
“It is especially (important) to get it over here at Evans, so now they have to come to our place,” Black said. “Today was a big game for us.”
Helping save the day for the Lady Wolfpack (6-2, 1-0) was sophomore third baseman and leadoff batter Kirsten McMonigle.
McMonigle had three hits in four trips to the plate, including an infield single between third base and shortstop that scored Jordie Holt from third in the top of the seventh inning. Holt singled to start the seventh, was sacrificed to second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on McMonigle’s hit.
With the Lady Wolfpack nursing the one-run lead in Evans’ last at-bat, the Lady Knights’ Ashton Odom led off with a double and was sacrificed to third base. While moving closer to the plate to field a potential bunt, McMonigle instead snared a rocket off the bat of Evans centerfielder Savannah Gabriel.
“Coach Black had said be ready for the bunt and I was just ready and Kirsten (Titus) was pitching amazing,” said McMonigle.
Titus (5-1) induced a routine fly ball to left for the game’s final out, capping a night in which she allowed the run (unearned) on six hits and five strikeouts.
Titus also plated the Lady Wolfpack’s first run of the night with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to center in the top of the third.
The Lady Wolfpack were one out away from recording their fifth shutout of the season, but two, two-out errors let the Knights tie the game at one in the bottom of the fifth.
In addition to McMonigle’s catch, Titus got help in the third inning with two on and one out when shortstop Taylor Dupree picked a low liner from Elyssa Melton off her shoestrings and touched second base for the inning-ending double play.
“I thought we played a good game and that’s why they call it a game of inches I guess, especially in the last inning,” said Evans head coach Colette Cassedy, whose team fell to 8-2, 0-1.
Evans’ pitcher Natalie Johnson was also tough allowing the two runs on eight hits while notching two strikeouts.