McIntosh beats Starr's Mill, moves into second place in region

Tue, 09/25/2007 - 7:11pm
By: Kevin Wandra

Erin Justice has had many memorable moments throughout her softball career at McIntosh.

But perhaps none has been more memorable than what the senior accomplished Tuesday, hitting a first-pitch, game-winning, two-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning in McIntosh’s 3-2 come-from-behind victory over sixth-ranked Starr’s Mill in a key Region 2-AAAA game on Senior Night in Peachtree City.

The victory moved McIntosh (13-2, 6-1) into sole possession of second place in the region. The loss dropped Starr’s Mill (17-9, 4-2) to third place.

McIntosh and Starr’s Mill entered the seventh inning tied at 2.

Starr’s Mill freshman pitcher Alexis Evans induced the first two batters she faced in the inning, Nicole Fox and Amber Shaw, to ground out to short. She was one out away from sending the game into extra innings, but she walked Holly Houghton and gave up a single to Jessica Conaway.

Justice followed with a first-pitch, two-out, RBI single to left field.

“That was a big hit,” McIntosh coach Joe Gaspierik said. “Erin came through when we needed her to. She is a very solid player. She doesn’t get real flustered.

“We have several players who could have gotten the job done in that situation, but with her calm demeanor, Erin was the right girl to have at the plate.”

Justice was one of four seniors honored in a ceremony prior to the game; the other three were Morgan Kidd, Shaw and Houghton.

Kidd wasn’t her usual dominant self, but she got the job done against a group of mostly Starr’s Mill’s JV players. Almost all of Starr’s Mill’s starters didn’t play for unspecified reasons.

Kidd struck out six and gave up three hits, no walks and two unearned runs to record the victory.

Two throwing errors by McIntosh on the same play allowed Starr’s Mill to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

Evans started the game with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error.

Heather Walker followed with a bunt that McIntosh fielded, but the Lady Chiefs made two throwing errors on the play, which allowed Walker to round the bases and score.

The mishap bug bit Starr’s Mill in the bottom half of the inning.

A wild pitch and a throwing error by Starr’s Mill scored Houghton, who had walked earlier in the inning, to score from third and cut the Lady Panthers’ lead in half.

Starr’s Mill remained ahead 2-1 until the fifth, when Shaw hit a triple to right field and, two batters later, Conaway lined a game-tying RBI single to left field.

McIntosh almost let the victory slip away with its inability to bring runners home; it stranded seven runners.

"It was Senior Night, which is a bit of a distraction," Gaspierik said. "The girls came out a little flat. But they played better as the game went along."

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