Lady Chiefs chop ECHS

Published 9:37 pm Sunday, February 24, 2008

By By Matthew Nascone
The first round of the Border War between the Northview Lady Chiefs and the Escambia County Lady Blue Devils went to the Lady Chiefs by the tune of 12-2 in five innings.
"We came out and hit the ball well and we hit it hard tonight," NHS head coach Stephanie Elowsky said. "We played solid defense and had a great pitching performance by Amber McMillan."
McMillan, a sophomore, threw a complete game on the mound and allowed two runs, both earned, on three hits. She struck out four Lady Devils (0-1) and walked one.
"Amber McMillan was obviously a key player for us with a solid performance on the mound by only walking one," Elowsky said.
The visiting Lady Blue Devils struck first in the top of the first inning. Junior shortstop Latesha Lee scored the first run of the game on a single by junior pitcher Raven Culliver.
"We scored in the first inning and got a little something going and got a little high," ECHS head coach William Casaday said.
But NHS (1-3) stormed back with five runs in the bottom of the first for a 5-1 lead after one inning.
McMillan also contributed with the bat, going 1-for-1 with two walks, two runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base. Junior shortstop Stormy Hayes went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and one run scored. Sophomore outfielder Aimee Clarke was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Freshman catcher Emily Vickrey went 1-for-4 with two RBIs and one run scored.
"Emily Vickrey has been hitting the ball really well," Elowsky said.
Senior left fielder Olivia Godwin, sophomore third baseman Candice Greenwell, freshman second baseman Shawna Montgomery and freshman first baseman Hayley Simpson each scored one run. Simpson added one RBI and junior outfielder Briana Halteman scored two runs.
Lee went 1-for-2 at the plate with one walk and scored both of the runs for the Lady Devils. Culliver and junior center fielder Courtney English also went 1-for-2 at the plate. English had a double and one RBI and Culliver also contributed an RBI.
The Lady Devils added one run in the third inning to cut the lead to 5-2, but after the two teams swapped goose eggs on the scoreboard for two innings, the Lady Chiefs ended the game in the fifth inning by scoring seven runs.
Vickrey and Greenwell were the only starters who did not score a run in the inning.
"Our whole nine have hit the ball really hard, whether they got a hit or not," Elowsky said. "They hit it hard to somebody. Candice Greenwell has especially hit the ball hard, but she just ended up on the wrong end of it."
Casaday said the first and the fifth innings were what ruined the Lady Devils chances of winning.
"You take those two innings out and we were right in the game," he said. "We have to learn how to stop the bleeding, so to speak. When things go wrong we have to learn instead of making more things go wrong, we have to accept what has happened and stop the bleeding."
The loss may have been a tough pill to swallow, but Casaday is still optimistic for the season.
"Everybody played hard," Casaday said. "Our one through five hit the ball decently and we have to work on our six through nine and once we get that down we will be pretty good."
The win was the first for the Lady Chiefs, and Elowsky said she hopes the team can keep that momentum going.
"Whether it was one of the first three losses or this win, they all are the same to us," Elowsky said. "We take each game day-to-day and it feels good going into the tournament this weekend with a win. It will help our team morale and keep us focused and positive."
The Lady Chiefs participated in the Dothan Tournament at the West Gate Softball Complex Friday and Saturday and the results will be in an upcoming Advance. Next up for NHS is a home game against Walton High School Tuesday. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
ECHS hosted Jackson High School Friday in the first Area game of the season. Results will be in an upcoming Advance. Next up for the Lady Devils is a home game against the W.S. Neal Eagles Tuesday. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.

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