Late thriller sees Grindstaff turn back MSA, 16-12

By Wes Holtsclaw

   Strong slugging performances from Ashley May and Laura Moore led the way Monday night in local Little League softball action, as Grindstaff Automotive topped MSA 16-12 in a late thriller at the National League Park.
   A lot of walked runs kept both teams close throughout the game, but one quick defensive inning from Grindstaff proved to be the tale of the tape in the game.
   Grindstaff opened up the first inning behind the bats, and scored six quick runs. Whitney McNeil opened with a walk, followed by a May single. Courtney Byers, Desiree Cox, Kamra Fritz, Danielle Matherly and Leah Henson scored from walks and extra bases from hit batters.
   MSA jumped on the bandwagon quick at the bottom of the first, scoring an impressive eight runs on Grindstaff. Cara Bowling, Chelsey Wagner, Cassie Johnson, Ashley White, Rebecca Morrow and April Davis all scored on walks.
   Ashley Wagner and Stephanie Umbewest scored from a towering 2-run double from Cassie Johnson, giving MSA an 8-6 lead over Grindstaff.
   Grindstaff came back quickly, plating six runs. Byers, Cox, Fritz and Matherly scored on walks, while a 2-run double from Moore drove in Henson and Kelly Culler to give the Automotives a 12-8 lead over MSA.
   Grindstaff provided the defense it needed in the second inning, elevate the team to the game advantage. Behind pitcher Fritz and some excellent plays out in the field, Grindstaff allowed no runs.
   The team bounced back offensively with a double from May, and four runs that came in on two walks, a wild throw and a hit batter to make it a 16-8 game.
   MSA had one last chance, but only scored four runs off of walks as White, Davis, Courtney Cox and Umbewest brought the game to its final score.
   P&W Muffler 10
   Mountain City Angels 10
   The earlier matchup saw a two hour 10-10 split between P&W Muffler and the Danny Herman Trucking Angels.
   Both teams scored one run apiece in the first inning, as they battled through tough defense and pitching to come out even.
   Julie Waters opened up with a run for P&W Muffler in the first, while Chelsey Fenner scored from a Morgan Morefield single for the Angels.
   P&W came out to a strong advantage in the second scoring seven runs. Taylor Davis scored from a Brittany Eggars RBI fielder's choice to open up the inning.
   She was followed by a 2 RBI play from Cassie Campbell, scoring Brittany Crabtree and Macy Lyons. Campbell scored from a Carrie Fleenor RBI single, while a 2-run double from Amy Aubrey scored Waters and Samantha Medina, giving P&W the 8-1 lead in the second.
   The Angels battled back scoring three runs of its own on walks, as Brackin Olen, Lylia Rodriguez and Whitley Osbourne scored closing the gap at 8-4.
   Muffler only scored two runs in the third inning as Crabtree advanced on a walk and Macy Lyons scored from an Eggers RBI sacrifice, making it 10-4 P&W Muffler.
   The Angels battled back hard, scoring three runs apiece in the third and fourth innings. Molly Wilson, Morefield and Ashlynn Campbell scored from walks to lead the Angels in the third.
   Meagan Meade, Wilson and Campbell scored from walks in the fourth inning to tie the game before the two-hour time limit concluded the game.