Boone slips past Four Winds Spa

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR STAFF
mbirchfield@starhq.com

   The meeting between Daniel Boone and Four Winds Spa went back and forth on Saturday, as it wasn't until the last inning that the winner would emerge.
   After an error by Four Winds Spa that would have ended the game, Daniel Boone came back to score 11 runs in the final inning to capture a 24-21 victory.
   "We've been hitting the ball better than we have, but this game came down to pitching, and we had one inning there where we lost focus," said Daniel Boone manager Bill Wagner. "We were lucky enough to come back after we got down."
   Daniel Boone took the early advantage, when a single from Brittani Herron drove home Laura Hutton.
   A hit by Jessica Hicks brought in Herron to give Daniel Boone a 2-0 lead in the top of the first.
   Four Winds Spa captured a score in the bottom of the first, after a ground hit from Kristi Ramey enabled Nicole Hardin to come home.
   It appeared that Daniel Boone was on its way to victory after the second frame as it increased its advantage 8-1.
   A shot to left field from Ashley Street brought in Candace Hawkes for the first run, and a hit up the middle by Hicks scored Herron to end the inning.
   "We have been working on our technique on hitting. All of these girls have come up from slow-pitch last year," said Wagner. "We're focusing on that, which takes a lot of screaming and yelling. It's a lot of work, plus we're playing better competition than we ever have before."
   Four Winds Spa came back strong in the bottom of the third frame to tie the contest at 8-8.
   A grounder by Judi Reece started the rally with Ramey crossing the plate, and Hardin finished the comeback with a triple down the right-field line to drive home Emily Jenkins, Karrie Fleenor and Hallee Carver.
   "We hit the ball better than we have hit it all year, and we played better defense I thought, but I don't know what happened to us in the last inning," said Four Winds Spa manager Mike Hardin.
   Nicole Hardin tied the contest when she came home with the opportunity off a passed ball.
   Daniel Boone added five runs in the top of the fourth, as a double to center field from Brittanie Moore scored Jordan McAfee and Paige Martin, making it a 13-8 advantage.
   Four Winds Spa took a seven-run lead in the bottom of the fourth, as Daniel Boone had trouble from the mound, along with the defense, which gave up 12 runs.
   An error from the shortstop enabled the first run to cross, with Amber Dugger coming home.
   A walk to Jessica Yates with bases loaded tied the contest by bringing in Hallee Carver, and a hit up the middle by Dugger drove home Hardin for the lead.
   "We been in a slump with hitting here lately, so it looks like today we've come out of it, and I hope it just holds up," said Hardin.
   An error in left field off a pop fly from Hardin produced the last run, with Fleenor coming home.
   Daniel Boone began its comeback in final frame with a double from Hawkes that drove in Hicks and Martin to pull within three runs.
   After Carver threw a strikeout for the second out of the inning, a pop fly to the shortstop should of made the final out, but instead it bounced out of the glove to keep Daniel Boone's hopes alive.
   "We made some big errors at the wrong time, for we had a three run lead with a short pop-up with two outs and then we drop it," said Hardin.
   Four Winds Spa struggled from that point with two straight walks with bases loaded to tie the game.
   Back to back doubles from Herron and Hicks drove in four runs to give Daniel Boone a 24-20 lead with one last chance at bat coming up for Four Winds Spa.
   A ground-out from Reece brought home Dugger for Four Winds Spa, but Daniel Boone defense held up, as Holly Nickels pitched the last inning to obtain the win.
   "All of our girls are learning to pitch, and after we got the lead again I decided we needed to bring someone else in that threw something different that haven't seen, and it worked for us," said Wagner.