Vik­ings go toe-to-toe with state champs

Dorchester Star - - SPORTS - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­

RIDGELY — This prize ti­tle bout be­tween 2A North Caro­line and 1A Cam­bridgeSouth Dorch­ester High went the dis­tance Mon­day.

Each team took its best shots in a back-and-forth af­fair, but the Bull­dogs pre­vailed 12-10 af­ter trail­ing early. North Caro­line hit­ters drove in eight of 12 runs with two outs.

Lau­ren Williamson and Ali Ward each had three RBIs with two outs. Me­gan Robbins also de­liv­ered a key two-run sin­gle with two outs, as the Bull­dogs im­proved to 5-1 over­all, 1-0 North Bay­side

“We knew we could not let up against a great team C-SD team,” Bull­dogs head coach An­drea Ward said. “We com­mended the girls on their two-out ap­proach at the plate. They bat­tled, and got a bunch of big two-out hits and drew some big twoout walks.

“Ev­ery­one on the team had some mo­ment today where they con­trib­uted to get this vic­tory,” Ward added. “Sure we made some mis­takes, but they fought back. They showed us a lot today.”

The Vik­ings (6-2, 0-1) started fast with Madi­son Pleas­ants driv­ing in Mad­di­son Led­num with an RBI triple in the top of the first. Pleas­ants made it 2-0 when she scored on an er­ror. Chloe War­rell’s RBI sin­gle to left plated Brooke Wind­sor to in­crease the lead to 3-0.

North Caro­line coun­tered with Ali Ward and Sarah Mast draw­ing walks against Pleas­ants. Ken­dall Dixon ripped an RBI sin­gle to plate Ali Ward. Cour­tesy run­ner Sarah Kin­top stole home to cut the lead to 3-2. Pleas­ants ended the threat with con­sec­u­tive strike­outs.

Bull­dog pitcher Macken­zie Werner re­tired CSD in or­der to start the sec­ond. Her team­mates gave her the lead by show­cas­ing their speed in the bot­tom of sec­ond.

Aza­lie Haro walked then stole sec­ond. Ali Ward dropped a bunt and beat the throw to first. Haro ran hard from sec­ond and tied the game when the ball got away on the play at first.

Mast drew a walk, and then her and Ali Ward ad­vanced on a double steal. Pleas­ants got a big strike­out of Dixon for the sec­ond out. But Robbins de­liv­ered a rocket to cen­ter for a tworun sin­gle and a 5-3 North Caro­line lead.

The lead did not last long. De­lanie Henry led off the third with a sin­gle, and ad­vanced to sec­ond on a sac­ri­fice bunt by Abby Robin­son. Led­num then launched a two-run homer to tie the score at 5-5.

“What a great mo­ment for Mad­die,” C-SD head coach Ka­reem Otey said. “We got down, but she got us right back into with with a big home run. She’s that type of player. Al­ways comes up big.”

Led­num’s home run also got praise from her com­pe­ti­tion. As she went back onto the field, North Caro­line as­sis­tant Jody Ward tipped his cap to Led­num and told her she is a great player.

The Bull­dogs re­gained the lead with two outs in the third on an RBI sin­gle by Wil­liams to score Abi Trice for a 6-5 lead. Ali Ward’s sin­gle plated Haro.

C-SD hit the ball hard to open the top of the fourth, but North Caro­line got to ev­ery­thing. Natalie Kerr lined out to Dixon at sec­ond. Then Adri­enne Kane looked to have ex­tra bases on a shot to left but Trice flashed the leather with a run­ning catch along the line. A pop-out to Robbins at short ended the in­ning.

North Caro­line ex­tended its lead to 12-5 in the bot­tom of the fourth with more clutch two-out hits. Dixon led off with a sin­gle, then

scored on a passed ball to make it 8-5.

With two outs and the bases empty, Emily Ward bat­tled Pleas­ants, foul­ing off five pitches be­fore walk­ing. Trice sin­gled to left, and Haro walked to load the bases. Williamson ripped a sin­gle to left to score Emily Ward and Trice. Ali Ward fol­lowed with a two-run sin­gle to in­crease the lead to 12-5.

“We re­ally put to­gether great at­bats,” Coach Ward said. “We kept telling the girls to wait, wait, wait, then go. Wait for your pitch then go for it. They worked the counts. They drew some walks. They con­verted with run­ners one.”

The Vik­ings stayed within strik­ing dis­tance with a four-run fifth. Robin­son scored when the home plate um­pire ruled an il­le­gal pitch. War­rell’s two-run sin­gle to left cut the lead to 12-8. Pleas­ants then scored on an er­ror to make it 12-9.

“I’m very proud of the heart the girls showed,” Otey said. “We got down big to a re­ally great team, but they didn’t give up and they fought their way back.

“Chloe came up big again,” she added. “She is see­ing the ball well, and get­ting hits all over. She is only a fresh­man. The sky is a the limit for Chloe.”

Werner pitched a big sixth against the top of C-SD’s or­der, get­ting Henry on a ground­out, strik­ing out Robin­son, and in­duc­ing Led­num into a pop-out.

In the sev­enth, Werner got the first two bat­ters out, but War­rell sin­gled to cen­ter. Kerr then double to plate War­rell and cut the lead to 12-10. But the rally stopped there when Werner got a ground­out to end the game.

“It is a tough loss but North Caro­line is a very classy team,” Otey said. “Af­ter the game, they were telling our girls we played a great. That is a great com­ple­ment from the 2A state cham­pi­ons.”

Werner got the win in a com­plete-game ef­fort. Pleas­ants went the dis­tance and took the loss.


Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester’s Mad­di­son Led­num launches a two-run home run against North Caro­line Mon­day, April 9.

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester’s Mad­di­son Led­num smiles af­ter she hit a game-ty­ing home run against North Caro­line Mon­day, April 9.

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