North Stokes pounded 14 hits and took advantage of two Wildcat errors to beat county rival West Stokes 13-3 in a six-inning mercy rule game on Wednesday evening in Danbury. West had beaten the Lady Vikings, currently ranked the number one 1A team in the state, 2-1 earlier this season.
“I was very pleased with how we played tonight,” said Viking coach Jeff Frye. “We made some adjustments at the plate and it gave us some opportunities to hit the ball. West is a great team and playing them late in the year has helped us get a good mindset going into the state playoffs.”
The Wildcats threatened to score in the top of the first with runners on first and second and no one out, but North Stokes starting pitcher, Autumn Martin, struck out Allison Mabe and Allie Mendenhall to end the inning.
The home team wasted little time and plated three runs in their first at bat. Carley Gravely singled and then moved to third on a throwing error on an attempted sacrifice bunt by Reid Hawkins. After a pop-up in the infield, Sydney Mabe hit a deep fly ball to left field scoring Gravely. Third baseman Allee Boles singled pushing Hawkins home and then junior Lora Wood tallied her first of four RBI’s on the evening and scored Boles on a single up the middle for the 3-0 advantage.
The second inning was scoreless, but the Vikings went back to work in the third. Hawkins was hit by a pitch to start and then advanced to second on a one out single by Mabe. Boles plated Hawkins and then Wood doubled in the left field gap scoring Mabe and Boles for the 6-0 edge.
Gravely added a solo homerun in the bottom of the fourth stanza and the Vikings were comfortably ahead 7-0.
The Wildcats’ bats finally lit fire in the top of the fifth. Taylor Cunningham started the inning with a single and then scored on leadoff hitter Hannah Woody’s double. Wood scored on a RBI single by Faye Lawson, but then North changed pitchers and inserted Sierra Hubbard. Hubbard gave up her only hit of the last two innings pitched to Mackenzie Parker plating Lawson for the 7-3 deficit.
North Stokes responded with five runs off of six hits in the bottom of the fifth inning. Five different Vikings contributed a RBI helping lead their team 12-3.
The Lady Vikings scored an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth with two outs when Hubbard hit a bases loaded sacrifice fly scoring Mabe on a close play at the plate ending the game.
Wood was 4-for-4 with three doubles, a run scored and four RBI’s. Gravley and Boles added three hits, three runs, and two RBI’s each in the game. Woody, Lawson, and Parker each had a hit and RBI in the contest for the Wildcats. Martin received the win on the mound by pitching 4.2 innings with three runs, three hits, three walks and two strikeouts. Hubbard finished the game giving up one hit, one walk, and no strikeouts. Allison Mabe suffered her fifth loss on the year with a walk and two strikeouts.
“Lora (Wood) struggled at the beginning of the year, but she is starting to see the ball really well,” Frye said. “She is doing a great job. Autumn (Martin) started the game for us, but West started hitting the ball. We brought Sierra (Hubbard) in to close it out and she did what she was supposed to do. They both did a great job on the mound. We just want to finish strong and can’t take any team for granted here on out.”
North Stokes improved to 16-2 on the year and West fell to 15-5. The Vikings travel to Glenn (10-7) on Thursday and the Wildcats will host Forbush (15-4) on Tuesday.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.