NC’s Dixon clubs game-winning HR to beat the Lions
RIDGELY — North Caroline’s Kendall Dixon clubbed a game-winning home run to beat Queen Anne’s County 6-5 Wednesday, March 28.
RIDGELY — North Caroline High’s Kendall Dixon wanted to be at the plate with the game on the line Wednesday, March 28.
“Kendall kept saying to Mack (Werner), ‘I want to hit again. I feel it. I want to hit again,’” Bulldogs head coach Andrea Ward said. “She felt it, and got the hit that we needed.”
Dixon stepped to the plate in the bottom of the seventh with the score tied 5-all 5 against a young, strong Queen Anne’s County team. All she needed was one swing to launch a solo home run to left field to cap a dramatic 6-5 walk-off victory.
“Kendall is a clutch player,” Coach Ward said. “You believe she can do it. The team believes in her. What a great game.”
The Bulldogs (2-0) got tested by the Lions (1-1), who took a 2-0 lead on freshman Kamryn Brandt’s firstinning home run. Queen Anne’s then came back from two runs down, eventually tying the score at 5-5 on Cameron Whiteford’s twoout RBI single in the top of the seventh.
“Queen Anne’s is a good team,” Coach Ward said. “They have a great coaching staff, and they have strong players. We knew coming out that it was going to be a game. They are going to be a tough competitor all year. They made big plays. We made big plays. It was a great game.”
Trailing 2-0 in the first, North Caroline drew three straight walks to load the bases. Ali Ward scored when an attempted pickoff throw to third went high. Shortstop Megan Robbins tied the game at 2-2 when she ripped a RBI single to center.
Werner gave the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead with a sacrifice fly. Robbins increased the lead to 4-2 when she scored on a throwing error.
Queen Anne’s left fielder Taylor Walls began a rally in the second with a double to right. She scored on Julia Smith’s double off the fence to cut the lead to 4-3.
Werner found her grove in the circle for NC by not allowing a baserunner in the next two innings. Her teammates added to the lead in the fourth, when Lauren Williamson singled with two outs, and scored on Ali Ward’s RBI single up the middle for a 5-3 lead.
The Lions pulled within one on Leah Bradley’s twoout, RBI single in the fifth.
“They never give up,” Queen Anne’s head coach Kim Betts said. “They are resilient, and have a lot of heart. Everything they got, they are laying it on the field.
“We just needed to shake that first inning,” Betts added. “I’m very proud of them for holding them to two runs for the final six innings. I’m super proud of their sticks today. They were on fire. I’m proud of them.”
Throughout the game when the Lions threatened, Werner made big pitches to get key outs for. Though she walked the leadoff hitter in the sixth, Werner got grounder to second for a force out. She then induced a fly out to right for the second out.
Alyson Hall singled to put two on, but Werner got Walls to fly out to center to end the threat.
“Mack came through in a big way today,” Coach Ward said. “That is a great lineup in the other dugout. She got a lot of big outs with two runners on. The innings where they got a run, Mack kept them from getting more. That is a mark of a great pitcher.”
Queen Anne’s got a rally going in the seventh with a one-out single by Breanna Athey. She then stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. Werner though, got a big strikeout for the second out.
Brandt then stepped to the plate with a chance to tie the game. Werner and Brandt battled to a full count, and Brandt extended the game with a walk.
Whiteford got the big hit with a rocket to left for a game-tying RBI single. Sydney Parsons looked to give the Lions the lead when she drove a pitch to right center, but Ali Ward raced into the gap and snared the liner for the third out.
“Ali covered a lot of ground out in center,” Coach Ward said. “We needed those catches today, and she came up big.
“It is one thing to get to the ball, but she maintained her poise and secured the outs,” she added. “It is nice knowing we have an entire outfield that can cover a lot of ground, and make plays like that.”
Werner got the win in a complete-game effort. She allowed 10 hits and five earned run with three strikeouts.
Bradley started for Queen Anne’s, pitching five innings, allowing three hits and two earned runs. Whiteford (0-1) pitched the final three innings, and allowed two hits.
“I’m excited about the season,” Betts said. “We have a really young team. I’m excited
about what is to come.” Colonel 2, N. Dorchester 0
AMERICAN CORNER — Jen Larrimore (3-0) tossed a complete-game shutout, allowing six hits and no walks while striking out four as the Colonels remained unbeaten.
Colonel Richardson (40) scored all the runs it needed in the third inning, when Kaylie Moore hit an RBI sacrifice fly and Larrimore stroked a run-scoring single. Moore had a single, Ka’Nyha Raikes singled and scored a run, and Megan Stubbs singled and scored a run for Colonel.
North Caroline’s Kendall Dixon blasts a game-winning solo home run to beat Queen Anne’s 6-5 Wednesday, March 28.
Kendall Dixon hit a walk-off solo homer to lift North Caroline over Queen Anne’s 6-5 Wednesday, March 28.
North Caroline’s Ali Ward makes the catch in center against Queen Anne’s Wednesday, March 28.
North Caroline teammates greet Kendall Dixon at home after Dixon hit a walk-off, solo home run to lift the Bulldogs over Queen Anne’s, 6-5, on Wednesday, March 28.