Walk-Off Hero

NC’s Dixon clubs game-win­ning HR to beat the Lions

Times-Record - - Front Page - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

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.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

North Caro­line’s Ken­dall Dixon blasts a game-win­ning solo home run to beat Queen Anne’s 6-5 Wednesday, March 28.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Ken­dall Dixon hit a walk-off solo homer to lift North Caro­line over Queen Anne’s 6-5 Wednesday, March 28.

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

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.

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