Prep softball: Baldwin, Jordan lead Indians to victory
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Sissonville senior pitcher Bekah Baldwin got her due Monday night, throwing what Indians Coach Nikki Gross said was Baldwin's best game of the season in a 4-2 win over Class AA No. 3 Scott.
A West Virginia State University softball signee, Baldwin scattered five hits, gave up two runs - neither of which were earned - and struck out eight. As is often the case on senior nights, however, Baldwin got an awfully big assist from an underclassman in helping Sissonville get back to the .500 mark.
Freshman first baseman Abbey Jordan drove an Ally Brown pitch down the left-field line in the fifth inning for a bases-loaded double, erasing a 2-1 deficit and giving Baldwin all the cushion she needed in improving to 5-8 on the season.
The Indians are now 11-11, while Scott dropped its second in a row and fell to 15-7. The Skyhawks lost to Chapmanville on Saturday.
"Whenever Abbey got her hit I could just do my job, to stay focused and shut them down," Baldwin said. "I felt good pitching, and my team backed me up hitting-wise."
Baldwin worked ahead in the count often, but helped put herself in a hole when she committed one of two third-inning errors that came in response to Scott bunts by Jennifer Miller and Kellian Strange. After Katrina Conley hit into a fielder's choice that failed to produce an out, Scott senior shortstop Allyson Johnson hit a fly ball that turned around Sissonville left fielder Breyanna Stone.
The ball landed behind Stone before she could reset her feet, and Scott led 2-0.
Baldwin and the Sissonville defense recovered their poise quickly, however, and the Indians retired the side in the fifth on just eight pitches.
After a season filled with late-game collapses symptomatic of young teams, Sissonville's youth might have come of age in the fifth inning.
Jamie Holmes started the rally with a one-out bunt single and was followed by Katelyn Linville's double to right-center field.
Karli Pinkerton and Alexee Hayes drew consecutive walks, forcing in Sissonville's first run before Baldwin reached on a bases-loaded fielder's choice.
That brought up Jordan with two outs, and the freshman rocketed a shot past Scott third baseman Chastity Ball that didn't stop until it reached the left-field corner.
Haynes, Pinkerton and Jordan are freshmen.
"I just saw my teammates on base and knew I had to send them home, because we were down, and I knew I wasn't going to get up again," Jordan said.
Of Sissonville's 11 losses, six have come by two runs or fewer. Gross said that with tournament time a week away, the ability to get a quality win with superior play late in the game gives her hope.
"Bekah pitched the game of her life today, I thought. She was really on it," Gross said. "This group of freshmen I have, I could talk to ya all night about them. They're just loaded with talent. I'm just excited to see what the future holds for us.
"The seventh inning has hurt us in a bunch of games, so we really had to close the deal here. I was glad that we were able to do that."
Brown, who was playing for the first time in a week after sustaining a concussion, was not her typical self, Scott Coach D.A. Harless said. She issued five walks and struck out four.
"We don't need to panic, and I don't want to make excuses," Harless said. "Right now, we just want to stay the course and prepare for sectionals, regionals and hopefully the State Tournament."
Johnson and Katie Marcum were 2-for-2 for the Skyhawks, while Pinkerton was 2-for-3 for Sissonville.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT